The family soon moved to 42 High Street, a few doors down from the police station and, like much of Llanidloes, little changed. There, on 22 May 1886, James died of senile debility, cardiac failure and exhaustion. His death certificate states that his granddaughter, Catherine Ann Roberts, of the Royal Infirmary, Manchester, a daughter of Isabel, was present at his death. The Montgomeryshire Express reported his death on May 25, 1886 and his funeral a week later:
DEATH OF THE LATE SERGEANT OWEN – We regret to announce the death of Sergeant Owen, late of the Montgomeryshire Police Force, which took place on Saturday, in his 79th year. He joined the Force in August 1840 and was superannuated, after nearly 35 years service, 2nd March, 1875. He leaves a large family to lament his loss.
FUNERAL OF THE LATE MR. JAMES OWEN. –The funeral of Mr. James Owen, of this town, took place on Wednesday last. He was one of the oldest members and Sunday-school teachers of the Welsh Independents. The great respect in which he was held by all classes was shown by the closed shops, drawn blinds, and the large number of mourners who followed his body to the church of St. Idloes, among whom were his sons – Rev. Elias Owen, M.A., Rev. T.W. Owen, M.A., Rev. Elijah Owen M.A., Mr. Morgan Owen, M.A., Mr. E.J. Owen, and Mr. E.E. Owen. The Rev. Sillin Jones, Independent minister, performed the religious ceremony at the house; and the Burial Service was conducted by Rev. W. Hughes, M.A. (vicar), and the Rev. C. Price, M.A. (curate). The deceased was 80 years old.”
The Rhyl Advertiser's funeral report stated James was 81 years old, the oldest member and Sunday-school teacher of the Welsh Independents and that "The Rev. Scillin Jones, Independent minister, conducted the religious service in Welsh at the house".
James's widow, Mary, continued to live in High Street, Llanidloes, and created an income by taking in boarders. I believe she died in 1921, aged 72 [Newtown 1921, 2nd qt]. That same year, Thomas William Owen, son of James and Susannah, retired as vicar of Empingham and returned to live in the High Street with his wife, Annie.