Founder of Unclaimed Baggage Center dies at 85 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Founder of Unclaimed Baggage Center dies at 85

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Doyle Owens and his Unclaimed Baggage Center. Doyle Owens and his Unclaimed Baggage Center.

The man who founded Scottsboro's famous Unclaimed Baggage Center died Saturday at the age of 85.

Doyle Owens began the business in 1970, with a $300 load and a borrowed pick-up truck that he drove to Washington D.C. to buy a load of unclaimed baggage.

READ MORE | 3 in Your Town: Unclaimed Baggage

The contents of those bags were sold on tables in his hometown of Scottsboro, AL. The success that followed prompted Owens to leaves his insurance job and turn his experience into a new career path.

Over the next 46 years, Owens' Unclaimed Baggage Center became a travel destination for curious bargain hunters and is the largest purchaser of unclaimed baggage and cargo in the U.S., according to a UCB news release.

Owens' sons joined the company, and in 1995, his son Bryan and wife Sharon purchased the company. 

Bryan Owens said "I am humbled and yes awestruck that God gave Doyle Owens to be MY dad. Of all men, I am most blessed. I would not be the man I am today without the influence of my dad. My heart grieves but I am overwhelmingly grateful for the life we had together."   
 
Over the years, UBC has received attention from the national media including "Oprah," "The Late Show with David Letterman," NBC "Today," The Travel Channel, CNN, The Huffington Post and The New York Times, amongst many others.

The family will receive visitors on Friday evening, Dec. 9 from 6-8 p.m. at the Scottsboro Funeral Home at 1502 County Park Road in Scottsboro.  Doyle's home-going celebration will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church at 305 County Park Road in Scottsboro, followed by the burial at Cedar Hill Cemetery located near the corner of W. Willow Street and Lost Luggage Lane.
 
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Samaritan's Purse, http://www.samaritanspurse.org/our-ministry/memorial-giving.  Written condolences for the family can be sent to The Owens Family, care of Unclaimed Baggage Center, 509 W. Willow Street, Scottsboro, Alabama 35768. 

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