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By Marielle Mohs
/ CBS Minnesota
GLENWOOD, Minn. — As the news of settles in, we’re hearing from friends who knew him well.
Deputy Owen’s squad car sits on the front lawn of the Pope County Sheriff’s Office as a memorial. People are coming by laying flowers and flags, but one item left by the car stood out to us. It was a workout T-shirt, and we learned Deputy Owen was part of a close-knit fitness family.
It was a somber workout at Minnewaska Fitness Center for Steve Hoffmann, who was missing his regular workout companion.
“I got to know Josh when he’s off duty, he’s pretty regular when he can get up here to workout,” Hoffmann said. “He’s a good guy, great guy. Just a great parent, and he loved talking about his dog that he was training.”
The last time Hoffmann saw Owen at the gym was Thursday.
“If I would’ve known that was his last day, we would’ve visited longer,” Hoffmann said.
The last time owner Tammy Salonen saw Owen was when he brought his 10-year-old son Rylan into the gym for the first time.
“He just said, ‘Tammy, I’m starting them off young.’ And I said, ‘That sounds great, Josh,’ and they spent a good afternoon up here with the day off,” Salonen said.
While Owen created a tight bond with a few, he made a connection with everyone.
“He would always make time to visit with any community member that was in here working out,” Salonen said.
Which is why it was important for this fitness family to honor their friend at the memorial.
“It’s gonna be hard moving forward, but small communities, we just all pull together as one, big, huge family it seems like,” she said.
It was important for this fitness family to honor their friend at the memorial, by placing a workout shirt next to Owen’s squad car with a sign that reads: “Now you get to workout with Jesus.”
On Monday, it was announced that a fund had been set up for Owen’s family. Donations are being accepted through the LELS Benevolent Fund, the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police, as well as at any Wells Fargo location.
Marielle Mohs is thrilled to be telling stories in her home state of Minnesota. She grew up in Eden Prairie and South Minneapolis.
First published on April 17, 2023 / 5:32 PM
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