CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In her brother's eyes, Cary Caperton Owen was a beautiful woman of grace and dignity, a role model, and a civic trailblazer.
Owen died on May 4 at the age of 78 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. She was surrounded by those who loved her, including her only sibling, former West Virginia Gov. Gaston Caperton.
On Saturday, those same people -- Owen's husband, children, and grandchildren, along with Caperton, his two sons and five granddaughters -- gathered to celebrate her life with a gift to the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences and the people of West Virginia.
While grieving the passing of his sister, Caperton said, he decided that he wanted to make a public gift of his treasured sculpture "Wind Torn," by West Virginia native Joe Moss, in his sister's memory.
"I've always loved this sculpture. It honors my sister who is a West Virginian and always loved West Virginia. I wanted to make sure people remembered her and it's a way for me to bring her home," Caperton said earlier this week.
"She was half sister and half mother. Beautiful in every way. Kind and a very good person. She was a loving and quiet person and always a good example for me. She always took good care of me."
Caperton described the painted carbon steel sculpture as beautiful and subtle in its strength and said that, like his sister, "it says a lot in a quiet way."
"My sister loved music and the arts and I thought it was an appropriate place for her to be honored," said Caperton, a Clay Center board member. The large white outdoor sculpture is in a grassy area between Washington Street East and the front exit doors of the center's Maier Foundation Performance Hall.
"Part of the purpose was to bring back the feeling of the person she was," Caperton said.