Richard Carl Osborne, 93, of Elkhart, passed away Saturday, June 13, 2020 at his home surrounded by family. He was born September 10, 1926 in Bristol to Carl L. and Jennie (Rowe) Osborne. The family moved to Elkhart in 1938 where he attended Elkhart High School and was a graduate of the class of 1944. He served in the Army Air Corps during WWII.
Richard married Elizabeth (Smith) Howe on December 30, 1961 in Roanoke, IN who preceded him in death on October 2, 1999. Surviving him is his first wife Gerry (Newton) Watkins, 3 daughters, Jean (Osborne) Nelson and her husband Phil of Elkhart, Roxanna (Howe) Elphick and her husband Terry of Nappanee and Nancy (Osborne) Remmel and her husband Kim of Phoenix, AZ, 2 sons, Gordon Howe and his wife Christy of Jamestown, CO. and Michael Osborne and his wife Pamela of Indianapolis, 9 grandchildren, Mark (Leann Yoder) Moody, Michael (Karen Zivi) Moody, Cynthia (Anthony) Peters, Christine (David) Christman, Heather (Donald) Roeder, Stacey (Terry) Miller, Jennifer (Josh) Long, Justin Howe and Logan (Heather) Howe. 11 great-grandchildren, Logan Moody, Adrienne Moody, Alexa Peters, Amanda (Charles) Wolf, Mattie Hockert, Madalyn Roeder, Sydney Elphick, Andrew Miller, Nathan Miller, Sophia and Hayden. 4 great great-grandchildren, Hailey Wolf, Haven Christman, Liam Wolf and Corbin Roeder. Preceding him in death were his parents, 4 sisters, Ruth Starner, Helen Ellis, Dorothy Stenberg and Jean Osborne, a brother, William Osborne, a daughter, Janice Schlabaugh and a great-granddaughter, Kassidy Hockert.
Richard was what people today would call a "serial entrepreneur.” He was a Real Estate Broker in Elkhart for 15 years, owned and operated Ozzie’s Hoosier Boy Drive-In in Dunlap, and also worked at C.G. Conn and New York Central Railroad. He was a member of Faith United Methodist Church, Tyrian Masonic Lodge, Dunlap Lions Club and was an active board member at Susanna’s Kitchen in Elkhart from 2000 until 2019.
One of his core values was that people should "be of service" and this value defined his life, especially in retirement. From running Susanna’s Kitchen, to volunteering with the Lions Club delivering fruit or "passing the boot" for donations, to making (and selling very effectively) mountains of peanut brittle for Faith United Methodist Church every year. He was very proud to have been a Mason for over 50 years.
Richard loved being the self-appointed activities director at Hubbard Hill Village. He organized dine-in meals, breakfasts, movie nights and bus trips. He would say "the old people rely on me!"
He was passionate, and VERY meticulous, about his genealogical research, and was particularly proud of his family who served in the Iron Brigade in the Civil War. He was very proud of being the longest living Osborne. His family fondly remembers his many slideshows at family get-togethers, whether vacation accounts that seemed to go on forever, or Christmas family snapshot shows that always found a way to embarrass everyone at least once.
Richard was a wonderful Christian man. He loved his large family and each family member was incredibly special to him. He would travel to visit his family that lived out of state and rarely missed the opportunity to spend time with his family that lived locally. He loved Hacienda margaritas, but had a rule that he could only have one a month, except for his birthday month, that month he could have two. No matter what he would not break the rule. He enjoyed planning yearly family reunions and even planned his own birthday party each year.
He owned his own airplane which he flew himself. His children thought it was pretty neat to have their father fly them to college.
He especially enjoyed his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren. He loved to tease them and joke around with them. One of his favorite phrases to tell the kids was “that will grow hair on the bottom of your feet.” He had a removable thumb trick which really impressed the grandchildren when they were younger. Some of them have even perfected the trick themselves. And no holiday would have been the same if he did not take the bow off of a present and put it on his forehead.
He loved to join any social gathering with friends or family. He kept a pocket calendar in his shirt to keep track of everything he was doing. He liked to keep busy and took every opportunity he could to spend time with others.
He collected every National Geographic for over 30 years. And this shows another favorite value of his: "when you start something, do it well and see it through."
Richard Osborne lived 93 years to the fullest. He was a selfless man and had an incredible heart for others. He never hesitated to volunteer his time or to help someone in need. He is going to be missed by all who knew him. This world is a better place because of Richard.
A private service for family will be held at Faith United Methodist Church. Richard will be laid to rest with his wife Elizabeth at Oakridge Cemetery, Bristol. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith United Methodist Church for middle school and high school teens to attend summer church camp. The church address is 22045 County Road 18, Goshen, IN 46528. Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home is entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at the funeral home’s website.
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