Rachel Owen, Thom Yorke’s Partner of 23 Years, Has Passed Away

Dr Rachel Owen, former partner of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, has passed away from cancer. She was 48 years old.

Yorke and Owen spent 23 years together, during which they had one son and one daughter, Noah and Agnes. Last August it was announced that the pair had split. An official statement from Yorke read,“Rachel and I have separated. After 23 highly creative and happy years, for various reasons we have gone our separate ways. It’s perfectly amicable and has been common knowledge for some time.”

Their relationship was heavily referenced in their intimate, inwards-looking 2016 album A Moon Shaped Pool.

Undoubtedly, the album’s themes of lost love and change will take on new meaning, now that its thematic basis has changed; think back to how you perceived Bowie’s Blackstar before and after his passing.

According to an obituary posted to the website of Pembroke College, University of Oxford, where was a Retained Lecturer in Italian, Owen passed away this Sunday.

Her obituary reads as follows:

It is with great sadness that the College marks the death of Dr Rachel Owen, who was a Retained Lecturer in Italian here at Pembroke.

Dr Owen was an internationally renowned artist – mixing photography and printmaking – and at the same time a scholar in medieval Italian literature. As Retained Lecturer, she used to teach Dante’s Divine Comedy to Pembroke’s finalists in Italian.

Dr Owen’s parallel passion for art and literature was already established in her university years at Exeter, where she studied Italian and Fine Art. She then moved to Royal Holloway, London, where she completed a PhD on the illustrations of the early manuscripts of Dante’s Divine Comedy.

Each year, her Pembroke students enjoyed the pleasure and the privilege of a guided tour through the manuscripts of the Divine Comedy held at the Bodleian Library.

Despite her declining health from cancer in the last year, she asked to continue to teach, which she did right until the end of last Michaelmas term. She was 48 years old and leaves behind a son, Noah, and a daughter, Agnes, aged 15 and 12.

One of her latest artistic productions was a series of prints inspired by the Cantos of Dante’s first book of the Divine Comedy. The prints will be exhibited at Pembroke’s JCR Art Gallery during Trinity term.

Rachel Owen, died on Sunday 18th December.

Our thoughts are with Owen’s family, Yorke, Noah and Agnes.

Image: Consequence of Sound