The Edmond Sun

Obituaries

June 9, 2014

Robert Osbourn

EDMOND —     Graveside services for Robert E. Lee Osbourn will be held at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at Gracelawn Cemetery.   Karon Brown will officiate.  Visitation will be Monday, June 9th from 4:00pm-8:00pm at Baggerley Funeral Home.  Bob passed away Thursday, June 5, 2014 at Edmond Health & Rehabilitation.  He was born on May 10, 1927 in Sylacauga, Alabama.  He is the second of 5 children.  He grew up on a farm in rural Alabama, and at age 17 he married Gracie Louise Heath, who was only 16 at the time.  The families of Heaths and Osbourns had known each other for a long time before Bob and Gracie became engaged.

    At age 18, Bob was drafted into the U.S. Army and was sent to Germany for the final months of WWII.  He was part of the Occupation Army.  After discharge from the Army he took advantage of the GI Bill and started college at Jacksonville College in Jacksonville, Ala.  It was there that he enrolled in ROTC, which allowed him to re-enter the Army as a Second Lieutenant.  From this point on he made a life career of the military.  He advanced through many prestigious schools and courses, becoming a Senior Aviator.  During this time he flew both fixed wing and helicopters; he was an instructor pilot for helicopters before the Vietnam Era and served two tours of duty in Vietnam during the 1960’s.

    In 1968, his last military assignment was to start and develop the ROTC program, which still exists today, at University of Central Oklahoma (UCO).  Because this was still during the Vietnam War there were days of protest at his classroom, he spoke to the students explaining that he, too, was not for the war.  This created a respect for the first Professor of Military Sciences at UCO.  He took advantage of being at UCO and earned his Masters while there.  After retirement from the Army in 1972, he taught at Edmond Memorial High School for 15 years before retiring a second time.

    He was preceded in death by his wife Gracie Osbourn; his oldest daughter Patricia Sue Thurber; parents J.D. and Carrie (Garris) Osbourn; and sister Lizzie Dennis.

    He is survived by his daughters Glinda D. and husband Eric Pressler, Arleather L. and husband Barry T. Rice; son Robert L. Osbourn Jr. and wife Lynn; sisters Flossie Mizell and Lular Mizell; brother Ross Osbourn; ten grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, and his dear friend Betty Zemp.

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