Unclaimed Baggage founder Doyle Owens dies at 85

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. - Doyle Owens, 85, died on Saturday night in his home from natural causes. He was known as an influential man in Scottsboro - as the founder of Unclaimed Baggage.

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Doyle Owens. (Courtesy: Sharon Owens)

Owens started the business in 1970 with nothing but a dream and a pick-up truck. He drove all the way to Washington D.C for his first load of luggage that he sold off of cardboard tables. The business became an instant success, and to this day, is the only store of its kind in the Unites States, bringing in over a million visitors to North Alabama every year.

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Doyle Owens and late wife Mollie Sue Owens. (Courtesy: Sharon Owens)

Owens was the owner of the "Land of Lost Luggage" until 1995 when his son, Bryan took over. Bryan told WHNT News 19 that his dad was the founder, and took that new role seriously, making daily trips to the store just to greet people as they walked in. “I talked to him daily, and he’d always say, 'Let me tell you who I met today,” said his son Bryan. Bryan went on to add that his Dad loved the people, and had no trouble making friends.

The family will receive visitors on Friday evening, December 9th from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Scottsboro Funeral Home at 1502 County Park Road in Scottsboro.

Doyle’s home-going celebration will be held on Saturday December 10th at 11:00 AM 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.