Dolly Parton Mourns Death of ‘Beloved’ Uncle: ‘Wouldn’t Be Here If He Hadn’t Been There’

by Keeli Parkey

Only a few months after the passing of her brother, Dolly Parton is mourning the death of another close family member.

That family member is her uncle, Bill Owens. And in a eulogy the country music icon shared on her website, she said it was this man who set her on the path to stardom. Parton shared her thoughts about her uncle on her website.

“… I  wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been there. He was there… there in my young years to encourage me to keep playing my guitar, to keep writing my songs, to keep practicing my singing,” Parton shared. “And he was there to help build my confidence standing on stage where he was always standing behind me or close beside me with his big ol’ red Gretsch guitar.”

Dolly Parton also wrote on her website that she gives credit to her Uncle Bill for her successful music career.

“It’s really hard to say or to know for sure what all you owe somebody for your success,” Parton wrote. “But I can tell you for sure that I owe Uncle Billy an awful lot.”

The country icon’s touching tribute also included details about her uncle’s life and music career.

“He wrote songs that were recorded by Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner, Ricky Skaggs, Kris Kristofferson and many others,” Dolly Parton shared on her website. “He also traveled the road with many big artists playing his guitar, including playing on stage with me in my early years in Nashville.”

The most important thing Uncle Bill did for Dolly Parton was, according to her eulogy, “help me see my dreams come true and for that I will be forever grateful.”

Considering he helped give Dolly Parton to the world, we should all be grateful to Uncle Bill.

Fans Share Condolences with Dolly Parton Over Passing of Her Uncle

Dolly Parton shared news about her uncle’s passing via social media on Wednesday (April 7). This included a post on Twitter. The post also included a link to the eulogy she posted on her website. She also shared a photo of a young Parton with Owens.

“I love my beloved Uncle Bill Owens. I knew my heart would break when he passed, and it did. I’ll start this by saying I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been there. Read more:”

Dolly Parton is one of the most beloved country music stars – and celebrities – living today. So, it should not come as a surprise that her fans were quick to share their condolences with her after she announced the news of the passing of her uncle.

“Then we all owe him a debt of gratitude. You are a blessing. So very sorry for the loss of your wonderful uncle. May he rest in peace,” one fan shared.

“Please accept my deep admiration and respect for all you do and for your Uncle Bill for helping you find your way. I’m sorry for your loss. Maybe Bill will let Elvis be in his backup band,” another posted.

“I just read your tribute and I too really appreciate your Uncle Bill, because we really have needed you to entertain, inspire, soothe and make us laugh. I love the description of him and his guitar and absolutely LOVE his passion for trees. Thanks for sharing, sorry for your loss,” one said.

There were many, many more messages posted for Dolly Parton as well.

Parton’s brother, Randy Parton, died on Jan. 21, 2021, at the age of 67.