Reid-Owens, Corinne. Resident of Racine. Age 99 yrs. November 6, 2012.
In 1952, she organized the South Lafayette Neighborhood Group, which is said to have been Racine’s first self-help agency. Later, the South Lafayette Neighborhood group began a program called, “Operation NEAT,” which outlined rules for living as good neighbors. The organization also held an annual spring cleanup to remove junk, exterminate rats and other conditions that could lead to neighborhood decline.
Housing discrimination was just the first of many civil rights struggles fought by Corinne Reid Owens. In 1953, she helped reactivate the Racine NAACP continuing to fight discrimination on every level. During her work with the NAACP she began the NAACP Freedom Baby Contest and she served as president of the Racine chapter from 1953-1954 and 1968-1988.
Devoted to her community, Owens helped establish the Dr. John Bryant Neighborhood Center and was the founder of the Community Women’s Club, which raises money for scholarships for deserving black students going to college.
Over a lifetime of public service, Corinne Owens has received numerous awards and recognition of her achievments. In 2008 she was honored by the Wisconsin State Assembly in Madison, WI; 2007, honored by the NAACP Freedom Fund dinner; 2005, recipient of the Benjamin L. Hooks Keeper of the Flame award; 1979, the Rosa Parks award at the NAACP Regional conference; 1973 “Woman of the Year” award by the Racine Civic Council; 1973 “Teacher of the Year, Citizen of the Year” by the Racine PTA Council.
Corinne Reid Owens is survived by nieces, Orien Reid Nix of Laverock, PA, Mattie Christine Moore and Laura Blanchard of St. Louis, MO, and Majeeda Baheyadeen of Kansas City, MO, Maxine James, Pensacola, Fl, Jennifer James, Washington, DC, Lauradell Shelton and family, godson, Burnett Horton, devoted friends Lorraine Brock, Columbus, OH, Christina Thonnes, Cindy Seifert and a host of other family and friends. For her family her passing leaves a void shared by those whose lives she touched in so many ways. Her legacy is that as a woman with a devotion to public service, a motto, “If I can help somebody,” all of which is a legacy that will live forever.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday 11AM at St. Paul Bapitst Church 1120 Grand Ave. Instate Tuesday 10AM at the CHURCH until time of services. Visitation Monday 3-7PM(Family hr. 6-7PM) at Wayman AME Church. The family is served by:
Northwest Funeral Chapel
O’Bee, Ford & Frazier
800 Barker St. 637-6400
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