Obituary for Frances Maureen Owen - East Idaho News
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Frances Maureen Owen

September 11th, 1956 - March 25th, 2024

Frances Maureen Owen of Firth, Idaho passed away at her home March 25th, 2024.

Maureen was born in Springerville, Arizona to Frances and Claude Phipps on Sept. 11th 1956, and grew up in Vernon, Arizona.

After moving to Mesa, Arizona where she attended high school, she had her son Donald from her first marriage (divorced soon after) and then she moved to the Idaho Falls area in 1977 where she met Kenneth Gunnarson and they were married in 1978. From this union, they had two children Eric and Marlena and together they worked on the farm in Firth. Maureen worked hard on the farm, kept the finances in order, and raised their three children. After 17 years of marriage Ken and Maureen divorced, but became good friends again later in life and spent many happy family gatherings together. In 2001 Maureen married Steve Owen and resided in Idaho Falls. They loved spending time together doing various home remodeling projects and having BBQ’s with family and friends.

While in Firth and Idaho Falls, Maureen worked for Reinhart Construction, then Simplot and was active in various organizations with Steve including the Idaho Falls Ski Club. In 2006 Steve and Maureen moved to Arizona where she worked for Circle K. She loved the warmth and sunshine in Arizona but after Steve passed in 2015 she decided to move back to Idaho to be closer to her children. She spent some time living with or near each of her kids, first in Castleford with her daughter Marlena, then in Idaho Falls with her son and daughter in law Donald and Toni, then in Firth with her son Eric.

She loved finding new things to go and see and tried to keep herself busy even after being diagnosed with cancer and going through surgery along with cancer treatments off and on for years. She would go on various trips and outings with Marlena and her granddaughter Sadie and had many fond memories of these adventures.

While in Firth, she and her son Eric would put together family BBQ’s and various functions which were always enjoyed by everyone. Maureen also became active in the Red Hat Society which she enjoyed being a part of.

Maureen had a great sense of humor, an infectious laugh, and you could always talk to her about anything and get great advice.

Maureen is survived by her sisters, Edith, Priscilla, and Charlene; son, Donald (Toni) Gunnarson, son, Eric Gunnarson, daughter, Marlena Austin; grandchildren, James Gunnarson, Keysha (Jason) Larson, Sadie Austin; and great grandchildren, Neo and Alice Larson.

Maureen is preceded in death by her parents, Claude and Frances Phipps; sisters, Ramona and Gwendolyn; brother, Lewis; and husband, Steve Owen.

Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, April 12th at the Ucon Cemetery. A celebration of life gathering will be held on Saturday, April 13th time and place to be determined. The family is under the care of Nalder Funeral Home.

In memory of Maureen, please consider donations to the Red Hat Society.

Condolences may be sent to the family at

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