Prof. Carroll A. Osborn (1915- 2009), Ypsilanti, MI.
Age 93, Carroll Arthur Osborn, loving husband of Bonnylyn, dear father of John, Charlotte, Janet, Timothy, Joel and Nancy, passed away peacefully at home on April 27, 2009. He was born on October 7, 1915, in Leonardsburg, OH, the son of Hubert and Flossie (Riley) Osborn. He grew up there on the family farm. Passionate about education, history of technology, religion, community and design, Carroll's passions continue to inform many who knew him.
Carroll had a good eye and a steady hand. In his younger days he designed and crafted pottery, metalwork and woodwork, following the example of the arts and crafts movement. Carroll began his school years by riding in a horse drawn school bus. He went on to attend Ohio Wesleyan (BA 1938) and Ohio State University, M.A. 1950). He was a veteran of World War II. In July 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps at Patterson Field, OH. He was a proud member of the U.S. 8th Air Force, 21st Air Depot Group, British Air Division at Burton Wood, England attaining the rank of Sergeant. He served in the Modification and Technical Control division as a Technical Aid and Aircraft Engineer. As such he was involved in planning, designing, and inspections of parts, fittings and modifications of combat aircraft. He was particularly proud of the trim tabs he redesigned for the P-51. While in England, he also assisted the Chaplain, and sang in a quartet, traveling as far as Belfast, Ireland, to win a singing contest there. Carroll often spoke with great fondness of friends made and time spent in the Army Air Corps.
In December 1945, Carroll made the wisest and best decision of his life when he went to Owosso, MI to reacquaint himself with, Bonnylyn Boulis, a former teaching colleague. They were married in Owosso on August 25, 1946, and lived in Garden City, MI. In 1955 Carroll and Bonny moved to Ypsilanti, settling into the Ainsworth neighborhood, where they lived for nearly 50 years.
In their neighborhood, Carroll was known as the man who gave away rhubarb plants, oiled anyone's squeaky bike, and gardened in the margin before it was common to do so. Right there in the city he once kept two lambs until they were sheep, and for years he kept chickens, supplying neighbors with fresh eggs. Carroll taught printing and Industrial Arts in Garden City.
In 1955 he joined the faculty of the Industrial Education (Technology) Department of Eastern Michigan. Initially Carroll taught 7-12 grade industrial arts for EMU's Roosevelt laboratory school as well as college classes at EMU. Later he primarily taught industrial technology classes to students majoring in elementary education. He promoted the integration of arts into content area curriculum both as a means of teaching ideas and a means of teaching the arts. Prof. Osborn thoroughly enjoyed his years at EMU. He had immense respect for the faculty, staff and students who made the university what it is. He loved learning and sharing knowledge and ideas with his colleagues and students, who constantly motivated and impressed him with their intelligence and creativity.
Carroll was always involved in church communities and worship. Influenced no doubt by his Quaker grandparents and Methodist parents, service as well as worship were always important to him. One labor of love was handcrafting a handsome brass and copper cross and candlesticks which graced many worship services. In 1955 Carroll joined First United Methodist Church of Ypsilanti. For years he sang in the church choir, and participated in service groups and committee work. Very near and dear to Carroll's heart was the beautiful historic church building. One of his favorite projects was a renovation in the late 1960's, for which he made careful scale and reconfigured the layout of the pews.
Carroll continued his service to the FUMC church and community well into his retirement years by serving dinners at the Hunger Coalition, participating in work/mission trips, and serving on the Church and Society team. During his retirement years, Carroll continued many church and volunteer activities, including working in the Ypsilanti Historical Society. He and his wife traveled in the States, the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe and enjoyed their Ainsworth Park neighbors, Carroll and his wife moved to the Village at St. Joe Hospital in 2005 and then to the Gilbert Residence.
Carroll was preceded in death by his parents, sister and brother-in-law Gladys O. and James DeHaven and his daughter, Nancy Osborn in 2005. He is survived by his wife and loving partner of 62 years, Bonnylyn; children John (Jean), Charlotte, Janet (Gregory Button), Timothy (Victoria Vaughn) and Joel (Sandy); grandchildren Lindsey (Kenny) Lindsay, Mark, Helen, Jeremiah, Danielle and Matthew Osborn, Kees, Tjil and Haan VanderWege, brother Everett (Gayle) Osborn, brother-in- Law J. Richard (Iris) Boulis; children-in-law John Roberts, and Janice Osborn, step-grand daughter Sara (Todd) Brinkman, nieces and nephews Bill, Wendy, Debbie, Patricia, Susan, Rick, Rob and Kathy, and several cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 9, 2009 at the First United Methodist Church, 209 Washtenaw, Ypsilanti. Luncheon will follow at the church. Visitation will be held on Friday, May 8 from 3-5 and 6-8 at the church, and on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the time of service. Donations may be made to the First United Methodist church of Ypsilanti.