Son confirms his father Kit Owen - six times the mayor of March - died suddenly from coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 16:22 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:22 01 May 2020

Kit Owen (left) from 2014 on being elected mayor of March for the sixth time. And (right) a photo released today by his family Picture; ARCHANT/FAMILY

Kit Owen (left) from 2014 on being elected mayor of March for the sixth time. And (right) a photo released today by his family Picture; ARCHANT/FAMILY

Archant

Son Jonathan confirmed that his father, six times mayor of March Kit Owen, died suddenly from coronavirus.

Opening of Nene Community Rail Partnership. Cllr Kit Owen unveiled the plaque.Opening of Nene Community Rail Partnership. Cllr Kit Owen unveiled the plaque.

From his home in California, Jonathan said it was with “a heavy heart” he learnt of the news.

“Kit passed away in the early hours of this morning at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon,” said Jonathan. “He was 74 years old.

“The cause of death was coronavirus Covid-19. He was admitted to hospital at 5am yesterday and passed less than 24 hours later”.

Kit leaves behind his wife Aiza Owen, son Jonathan Owen, daughter in law Leanne Owen and grandsons Carter, Nathan Owen and Oliver Owen-Jones.

Mayor elect Kit Owen with mayor Jan French head St George's Day parade in March last year. Mr Owen later lost his seat on the town council and therefore the chance to become mayor for the sixth time.  Picture; IAN CARTERMayor elect Kit Owen with mayor Jan French head St George's Day parade in March last year. Mr Owen later lost his seat on the town council and therefore the chance to become mayor for the sixth time. Picture; IAN CARTER

Jonathan said his father had served as a councillor in March for over 40 years.

Kit died just 16 months after finding happiness after marrying for the second time.

His first wife, Beverley, died more than a decade ago and he also suffered a further bereavement with the loss of his daughter, Lisa.

Kit would, ironically, have been elected mayor for the seventh time last year but the opportunity was lost when he suffered a surprise defeat in the local elections.

March Town Council Annual Assembly. Left: Mayor Kit Owen and Cllr Bernard Keane with a cheque for March and district talking newspaper.March Town Council Annual Assembly. Left: Mayor Kit Owen and Cllr Bernard Keane with a cheque for March and district talking newspaper.

One of the first tributes today was from his former political agent Debbie Clark,

“So terribly sad to hear that Kit Owen had died from coronavirus,” she tweeted.

“Thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP my friend. Reunited with your beautiful Bev.”

In January last year he surprised and delighted friends and council colleagues after marrying Aiza.

Ice Bucket Challenge. March market place. Mayor of March Cllr Kit Owen.Picture: Steve Williams.Ice Bucket Challenge. March market place. Mayor of March Cllr Kit Owen.Picture: Steve Williams.

He told this newspaper at the time: “We have known each other for a very long time and this [marriage] seemed like the best, logical next step for us both.”

Kit was born and brought up in the west ward of March. He was educated at March Grammar school before working for a local newspaper. He was a statistician in the Royal Air Force both at home and abroad for 12 years.

After pursuing various accounting careers in Spalding and Wisbech, he was then for 23 years employed in local government.

Having served as a councillor for across four decades he prided himself on having had the interests of the town at heart.

Kit Owen poses for a wedding day line up in January of last year. Picture: Terry HarrisKit Owen poses for a wedding day line up in January of last year. Picture: Terry Harris

One of his lasting achievements will be the successful Estover sports hall project which he had continued to lead on even after losing his seat both on Fenland District Council and March Town Council,

His responsibilities at Fenland Hall had included being a cabinet member for many years and at various times held responsibilities for housing and planning. He was widely praised for the successful transfer of Fenland’s council housing stock to Roddons Housing Association.

In his later years on the district council he took on responsibility for information technology and was for some time chairman of the licensing committee.


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