Officer Ronnie Owens Memorial Scholarship

Open toFor students at Washington
Summary

This Scholarship is funded annually by individual contributions to the Foundation to honor the memory of one of the four Lakewood police officers who were killed in the line of duty in November 2009.

Purpose

A Scholarship award is made to a graduating senior of Washington High School who intends to pursue a career in law enforcement or as a first responder.

Amount1 scholarship(s) of $500 each. (total annual contribution: $500)
Award notesOne time award.
Selection criteria
  • Must be a graduating senior of Washington High School with a grade point average of 2.5 or higher
  • Preference is to be given to a graduating senior intending to pursue a career in law enforcement
  • If no eligible graduate intends to pursue a career in law enforcement than the scholarship may be awarded to an eligible graduate pursuing a career as a first responder (firefighter, paramedic, EMT, park ranger).
  • Must have documented active involvement in service to the community.
  • The recipient must be a person of integrity and good moral character.
Selection process

The Washington Scholarship Committee will select the recipient. An alternate shall be selected annually and the scholarship shall be awarded to that individual if the primary award winner does not meet the requirements of the scholarship.

About

Officer Ronnie Owens

The Legacy of the Officer Ronnie Owens

In November 2009 Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards were gunned down while in the line of duty at the Forza coffee shop on Steele Street east of Highway 512.

Officer Ronald Owens, known to friends and family as Ronnie, was a lifelong resident of Parkland and a graduate of Washington High School. Ronnie was active in high school activities, especially basketball and baseball where he excelled. He played JV basketball as a 9th grader and went on to be a 3-time letter winner in varsity basketball. He was a member of the Patriot basketball team that won back-to-back Pierce County League championships in 1988 and 1989 and participated in state in both 1989 and 1990.  He was also a 3-time letter winner in baseball and is remembered as probably one of the better left-handed pitchers in school history. He helped the baseball team make it to state in 1988. In 1990 threw a no hitter in a game against Yelm. The baseball field at Washington High School is named in his honor.

Ronnie, a second generation police officer, was drawn to police work by his father, also named Ronald Owens, who was a sergeant in the Tacoma Police Department and retired in 1980. Ronnie served with the Washington State Patrol from 1997 to 2004 and joined the Lakewood Police Department when it was formed in 2004.

His fellow officers say Officer Owens’ easygoing nature made him fun to be around, but he never hesitated to pitch in and do things for others — whether it was helping a fellow officer process evidence or changing a motorist’s tire on the side of the road. “There was probably no one better — you didn’t even have to ask him for help,” a fellow officer said. “He was always the first one there to lend a hand. In our line of work, we answer a lot of calls for service, and he was always the guy to grab the radio and say he’d be in route to a call.” He was able to keep a positive attitude and treat people with respect who may not have deserved respect. He seemed to always have a smile on his face.

Officer Owens had an unusually close relationship with Lakewood Fire District firefighters. Before the Lakewood Police Department building was constructed, some of the Lakeview police force was stationed in a building near the fire department, and Officer Owens was one of several who would go over to the fire department often to share dinner or Sunday breakfast.

Ronnie Owens was first and foremost a loving and devoted father. He lived his entire life in Parkland and was honored to serve his community.

This scholarship was started by Oliver and Courtney Marshall. Courtney was a manager at the Forza coffee shop and knew all of the four officers. Two years after the shooting the Marshalls purchased the coffee shop and changed its name to BlueSteele Coffee Company. They asked the Foundation to help them create a scholarship at Washington High School to honor the four officers. When the Marshalls sold the coffee shop in 2016 the Foundation took over the responsibility of continuing the scholarship and changed the name to honor Washington High School alum Ronnie Owens.

Administration of the fundThe fund is administered by the Franklin Pierce Foundation, a nonprofit corporation registered in the State of Washington.
Method of payment
  • Receipt of a completed Scholarship Acceptance Form will hold this scholarship for the student. The scholarship can be held no longer than 16 months after June 30th of the year of graduation from high school.
  • Upon receipt of Proof of Enrollment Form including a student ID number, funds will be released to the institution in the name of the student.
Complete the Scholarship Acceptance Form and Proof of Enrollment Form online at: https://franklinpiercefdn.org/for-recipients/
Fund typeAnnual scholarship
Founded2013
Ended
ActiveYes