Frances Inez Hipps Ownbey

frances ownbey

Frances Inez Hipps Ownbey, 88, went to her eternal home on Saturday, June 12, 2021.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 24 years, Hardy Ownbey; parents, William Edward and Gertrude Bridges Hipps; brothers, Charles Hipps and Herman Hipps; and sisters, Hilda Corn and Mary Murray.

Inez is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Ray and Carolyn Hipps, of Leicester; sister, Kathleen Gooch, of Asheville; 10 nieces and nephews; and six stepchildren.

Inez was born sixth of seven children on September 9, 1932. She graduated from Emma High School in 1950 and began working in retail prior to graduating. She later was employed by the Buncombe County Register of Deeds where she retired after 28 years. Inez received Christ and was baptized at Deaverview Baptist Church as a teenager. She was a devoted member of Laurel Springs Baptist Church, Fairview, for over 30 years and was most recently a member of Victory Baptist Church, Asheville.

The Lord gifted her with an ear for music, and as a teenager, Inez began a lifelong passion for playing the piano and organ by taking piano lessons starting at age 15 and organ lessons at Dunham’s Music House later in life. In her twenties, she played and sang on radio and TV broadcasts including “The Story of Jesus” on channel 13 in the 1950s. She also played for the Asheville Drive-in Church and revivals throughout the area with the Robert E. Harris Evangelistic Association. Throughout her life, Inez has played and sang at untold weddings, funerals, and churches, thereby demonstrating a life of service to the Lord and others through music. She and Hardy shared this love of music and sang often together in church.

Inez easily made a friend, loved people, loved her family, and loved the Lord. She will be greatly missed.

A graveside service will be held at Green Hills Cemetery, Asheville on Tuesday, June 15, at 1:00 p.m. The Rev. Rendell Hipps will officiate.


Graveside Service: June 15, 2021 1:00 pm

Green Hills Cemetery
25 New Leicester Hwy.
Asheville, NC 28806


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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Memories Timeline


  1. My Aunt Inez was truly one of the sweetest people I ever knew. We will meet again over in glory. Until then, I will miss you, Inez!

  2. Inez was a beautiful lady, always greeted you with a lovely smile. Our prayers and sincere sympathy go out to the entire Hipps family. May God comfort each of you during this time of sorrow, and all the beautiful and happy memories bring a smile to your faces.

  3. 3Inez was a wonderful person, always very friendly and devoted to her family and church. She loved Music. She will be missed by all who knew her.

  4. Our deepest sympathy to all of Inez’s family. It was wonderful to see Inez’s beautiful smile and get a hug on Sunday morning. We were always happy to see her, and she made us feel the same way. We loved to hear her play the piano and share her special talent and gift with us. Inez was one of a kind and will be greatly missed. Our prayers are with you all.

  5. Inez was a dear precious lady and a devoted Christian friend! Her life was a testimony of Christ’s love and and presence in her daily walk.
    Our love, thoughts & prayers are with you during this time. But what a blessed assurance of knowing she is with Jesus!! We love you!!

  6. Love and miss you Inez Rest In Peace from your loving friend Robbie Hensley and Donny Hensley and your neighbors brooks family we love you you will be greatly missed

  7. We wish to express our deepest sympathy to the family. Inez was a special lady and a great friend to our family. She brightened up every holiday and always had a smile. She was a great blessing to everyone.
    Rev. Enoch G. Ball, Jr., David and Barbra Ball, Dean and Karen Wertz, and Keith and Angie Ball.

  8. Inez was a very sweet and kind lady. She always had a smile and a kind word. She will be missed.

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