John “Owen” Dumm simply changed the world. He joined his Heavenly Father on September 14, 2023, after his lifelong battle with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Owen, like his Duchenne Brothers, is a warrior, he fought many battles against this beast of a disease. Owen endured so many needles, surgeries, pokes and prods, doctor visits, and therapies all in an effort to help cure Duchenne. His participation in the trial to approve Exondys 51, the first genetic Duchenne therapeutic medicine, was an amazing sacrifice and a victory for our Duchenne Community.
During his earthly adventure, Owen showed all of us what it means to live. He was extremely creative in his drawings, his writing and his words. You could not go a day without his hilarious witty sarcastic humor flowing out to all around him. He was an amazing father to his service dog, Larry. He loved movies, reality shows like Alone and Survivor, nature, space exploration and his family cabin in Loretto PA. There was not a week that went by in his life that he and his brothers (and Dad) were not pulling pranks.
Owen was a food critic and connoisseur; he loved a good meal and was never afraid to try new things. He was a very competitive game player, his favorite games were Scrabble, Catan, Risk, Plunder, Code Names, countless card games like Gin Rummy and Sky Jo and of course, video games. Owen is a graduate from St. Albert The Great Elementary School and North Royalton High School. He was very proud of his academic achievements and was an honor student. Owen was pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Cuyahoga Community College.
Along with his academic achievements, Owen was a master pyrotechnic, accomplished long range distance shooter (Bullseye with high powered rifle at 600 yards), 2016 Cleveland Clinic Courage Award winner and the 2016 Make a Wish Treehouse Recipient. Owen was an organ donor and proudly donated his kidneys, liver and pancreas so that others may live.
He is the son of Anthony and Jennifer Dumm, brother to Rutger and Wade Dumm. Grandson to Joannie Dumm (deceased), John and Gloria Dumm, Veronica and Adolf Hammer-Huber and Barbara and Raymond Muniak. He is the nephew to Steve and Kelly Muniak, Roman and Monica Bibyk, Karl and Susan Kruze, Chris and Amy Hammer-Huber, Stewart and Jeanine Hammer-Huber, Debbie Dumm, Johnny and Monika Dumm, Greg and Diane Puntel, Russ and Lisa Haid, Ward and Colleen Dumm. He is the cousin to Weston, Lauren, Alina and Julian Muniak, Emma Muniak, Hannah Grace, Dan and Eliza Schneiderman, Noelle and Issac Bibyk, Megan and Adam Kruze, Aaron, Zachary and Abbey Hammer-Huber, Patrick, Shelby, Erin, Emma and Elsie Cronan, Trevor, Kaity, Colson and Hunter Stein, TJ, Meghann and Vincent Puntel, Allie and Andrew Brant, Logan, Sam and Mia Haid, Luke Haid, and Natalie and Austin Dumm.
He is a family member to hundreds and he is a friend to thousands of people in our community and across our great country. He is running free in Heaven, riding four-wheelers with Jesus and pulling pranks with his buddies Uncle Bob and Bill.
Owen’s Funeral Mass is Saturday September 23, 2023, at 10:00 am at Saint Columbkille Catholic Parish 6740 Broadview Road Parma OH 44134. Owen will be buried at a later date at his family cabin in Loretto, Pennsylvania where his Grandmother Joannie rests. Owen would like a simple mass, to honor him, please wear something that reminds you of him. He would not like flowers at his funeral, instead please consider a donation to his non-profit, John Owen’s Adventure http://www.joainc.org/contributions.html or to Make a Wish https://wish.org/oki or simply do a good thing for someone else today in honor of Owen and share that with us. We will not have a receiving line at the mass.
We would love to see your faces at his Celebration of Life on September 24, 2023, from 1pm to 5pm at German Central 7863 York Road, Parma OH 44130 ~ home of the JOA Picnic in the Park. Bring a board game to play with your family in honor of Owen and be prepared to share your favorite memory of Owen with us. Dress is casual (maybe a JOA shirt or Camo or Orange/Blue) and if you know our Dumm boys, shoes are optional.
We – Tony and I - think the first thing we need to recognize is the amazing love and support that Owen’s brothers, Rutger and Wade have given him. There is absolutely no way Owen could have lived this amazing adventure without them being his hands and feet, his best friends and the main caregivers on this journey. If there was something stopping Owen from being a part of what we were all doing, you’d stop and build that exact tool he needed or arrange chairs, or move to another room so he could participate in the fun. Your Dad and I hope that you hold the memories of Owen and the incredible love you gave to him close in your hearts. The amazing men that you each have become through our family is immeasurable. We hope you know that and we know how much Owen loved you both. We want you to take a minute and look around, because everyone under this roof loves you both and appreciates all the love you have poured onto your brother.
There are so many people here, along with those that could not be with us today --- that shaped Owen’s world. Father Joe cautioned me on the length off this eulogy, literally we could thank you, each and every one of you and share a specific story on the impact you had on him, but that may end up being much longer than the mass itself and there is another funeral right after Owen’s.
What we will say instead --- is ------ You know who you are.
You are the one that brought him his favorite food, favorite drink, cooked his favorite meal, created his favorite food contests, you played his favorite game with him, he couldn’t wait to play cinch with you, you let him relentlessly make fun of you and laughed alongside, you cared for him, you shared your favorite movies with him, you entered our house to serve him and you became family, you helped him with his homework, you walked the school halls with him, you forgot to press the elevator button fast enough, you prayed for him.
You had so many game nights with him, with us. Holidays at our house because it was easiest for him. You had him every Tuesday and Thursday while we were at work, you shot targets with him and a few occasions you shot up appliances with him, you built amazing bonfires, you blew up countless stuffed animals and launched potatoes from Bill’s spud gun - Arts and Crafts, you brought goats, chickens, dogs, snakes, spiders, rabbits, Birds, so many animals into his life, you took him on fishing trips, you forged nature with him, he loved to hike with you, he loved to show you his favorite views in the Allegany Mountains, you rode four-wheelers and go carts with him, you played video games with him, you camped out in his family cabin and in the treehouse with him, he slept over your house countless nights, you drove thousands of miles, just to be with him. Family vacations to PA, Michigan, New York. Our “together weekends”
you ran….. OHHH you Ran for him
swim Tuesdays, end of year school parties, you burned your homework with him, you set football plays for him, he played pranks on you at Put n Bay. Nerf gun battles, food fights, dance parties. You built an elevator for him. You’d watch the shows he liked, just so you could ask him about them when you saw him next. You’d seek out new recipes and restaurants. He loved to debate with you, constantly… You found so many ways to include him, make him laugh and feel loved.
You influenced the FDA for him, you’d intervene when his care was not happening fast enough, We shared vacation coffee and pudding during the countless trips to Children’s Nationwide, he knew your Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital halls, you nominated him, he loved your expert medical care, therapy Mondays or as I liked to call them Larraypy Mondays. And this one is for Larry, you are his best friend and you served him relentlessly.
And did I mention that this child knew how to influence fundraising? Though he despised being the center of attention, he was the core in John Owen’s Adventure, raising over $1Million dollars in his lifetime to secure the foundation to cure to this beast of a disease. He along with his Duchenne brothers, Drew, Braedan, RJ, Jack, Charlie, Jeffery, Andrew, Colton, Nathan, Tom and the many others, are true Warriors to derail Duchenne.
So, how do we possibly fit 19 years of amazing into a few minutes? We think we can do it in two ways:
First, to know John Owen Dumm is to live. He taught us everything we know about making this a great life, he never complained, he most always had positive things to say and mostly they were sarcastic and hilarious. The occasional negative comment started with “you know nothing about” To me he would always say, “You know nothing about Football mom”
We want to share this text from Owen’s friend and aid, Kathleen Mulik, She said, “One heartfelt story about Owen – We were talking about someone who has special needs and has behavior trouble. I said, “I get it – he’s mad at his situation – he’s mad at what he’s missing out on -Owen you of all people can understand that.. He looked right at me and said Ms. Mulik, I haven’t missed out on anything.”
That’s right, this kid knew how to live. It surprises none of us that he donated his organs for life to continue.
Second, to know John Owen is to know the magnitude of a mustard seed. This kid moved mountains, he was unstoppable, determined, and a true force of nature. All Owen needed to hear is, “you can’t” and he’d make that mountain move. He inspired so many and rarely knew it. In his amazing sacrifice for Duchenne, he brought our families together, he brought our community together and he brought you here today to pray for his soul into the Gates of Heaven.
Owen - You changed the world, you made me better, you made us better and we are so grateful for each and every moment we had with you. Give hugs to our beautiful family and friends that greeted you at the Gates and stay on our shoulder looking out for us until we can hug you again.
Owen we know you are telling us now - I love you more --------- Impossible