Clyda Jean (C.J.) Saylor Martin Owen, 92, died April 6 at Sarah’s Place in the Glencroft Care Center. A proud native Arizonian, C.J. was born in Tempe in 1924 to Lila and Charles Saylor, the eldest of 5 children. C.J. is survived by brother Frank (Phyllis); sister Phyllis (Lou-deceased) Smith; 2 stepchildren – Marge Owen Hampton and Charlotte Owen Montanus, daughters of her 2nd husband, Charlie (deceased).
C.J. attended Kyrene and Tempe schools before enrolling at A.S.C. (later A.S.U.) in 1942. Highlights while a student there included induction into Jr. & Sr. honoraries and serving as the first female student body president. A highlight of that tenure was riding a thoroughbred palomino through downtown Tempe traveling the entire homecoming parade route backwards! She graduated cum laude and signed a contract to teach at G.H.S. in 1946. She married fellow student Bill Martin while at ASC.
A physical education teacher for many years, C.J. is beloved by hundreds of former students at Glendale and Cortez High Schools where she taught before becoming an administrator in the GUHS District. When she was introduced as the new Athletic Director to the predominantly male district coaches, she noticed they all sat up a little straighter. She was the first female Athletic Director for a multi-high-school district (9 schools) in the United States. Among her many duties C.J. was responsible for implementing Title 9 in the Glendale district, something she totally enjoyed.
We would like everyone to celebrate her life and share memories of C.J. at her Memorial Service on Saturday, April 29th at 9:30 AM at the First United Methodist Church, 7102 N. 58th Dr., Glendale, AZ.Print Obituary & Condolences