The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette community mourns alum after suicide

Over the holiday season, the Marquette community suffered a tragic loss with the unexpected death of Justin Owen, a 2010 graduate of the College of Communication.

Owen, 24, was found dead in his apartment on Christmas Day. The determined cause of death was suicide, according to a letter sent to Medill School of Journalism students by Northwestern University Dean and Professor John Lavine.

In December, Owen completed his first semester as a graduate student at Medill.

Notably, he also served one tour of combat duty in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve as a Corporal in Iraq from 2007-’08.

On Dec. 30, more than 100 people paid their respects to the family of the fallen veteran at a service in Milwaukee. At a military burial at the War Memorial Center which followed the funeral, Owen’s commanding officer Guillermo Rosales, Jr. described Owen’s character.

Rosales said Owen was always polite, smiling and a natural leader. Owen’s time in the Marines was marked by his ability to lead his fellow soldiers, so much so he was promoted to leading a platoon in his company, Fox Company.

During the funeral, the Rev. Carl Last of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Milwaukee talked about Owen’s character. With Owen’s activities ranging from wrestling in high school to an appreciation for classical music, Last said Owen’s well-rounded personality endeared him to everyone he met.

Owen graduated from Shorewood, Wis. High School in 2004 before attending Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. He transferred to Marquette after his junior year at Norwich.

He is survived by his parents, Thomas and Rebecca Owen, and two brothers, Nicholas and Thomas John. Medill has created The Justin Owen Memorial Fund in his honor to help graduate students with financial need.

Read about Owen’s transition from serving in the military to being a student in a Tribune piece published last school year.

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