Owen, who was majoring in exercise science, was 25.
“Gerry was an integral member of the Becker community and his love for Becker hockey and his teammates was immeasurable,” said Becker director of athletics Frank Millerick in a statement. “Even as his health declined he did not allow this to be a deterrent. Gerry went to games and practices, he traveled with the team, and he was a presence in the locker room. He showed his teammates and all who knew him that this dreaded disease was not going to dampen his spirit or keep him away from what he loved most.
“Gerry will be sorely missed.”
After being diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2014, Owen made a triumphant return to the ice in the fall of 2015, scoring seven goals while dishing out a team-best 15 assists. Owen’s efforts earned him ECAC Northeast Honorable Mention.
In 68 total games played at Becker, the Chesapeake, Va., native tallied 57 points with 19 goals and 38 assists.
On Jan. 20, Owen realized one of his dreams when he received his diploma from President Robert E. Johnson and Dr. Nancy Crimmin at his bedside at Brigham & Women’s hospital in Boston.
“Gerry was a special kid,” added Becker coach Mike Chartrand. “He was tough as nails and lived life on the edge; that’s what I loved about him. I had a special bond with Gerry because we both stepped on the ice for the first time as Hawks five years ago. We were both a little nervous, but excited to become part of the Becker College community. I will miss him every day. Rest in peace, my friend.”
Counseling services are available on both the Worcester and Leicester campuses of Becker College. In the coming days, the school will share details of other opportunities to remember Owen and celebrate his life, including the tribute to him on Thursday, Feb. 9, at the men’s hockey game at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass. at 7:40 p.m.
Contributions are still being accepted to the GoFundMe page established by Owen’s friends to assist his family with the significant medical expenses associated with his care and treatment.