Oklahoma Baptist University

Former OBU Vice President Donald Osborn Dies

Donald G. Osborn

Donald G. Osborn, Oklahoma Baptist University vice president emeritus, died Tuesday, Dec. 18. He was 81.

Osborn joined OBU’s faculty and staff in 1952 as instructor of history and graduate assistant to the vice president for academic affairs. He was promoted to assistant professor in 1958 and granted tenure. In his administrative role, he was counselor to men students from 1954-56, and was dean of men from 1956-65 before serving as the university’s dean of students from 1965-73. He was promoted to vice president for student development in 1973 and served in that capacity until 1986. He then was special assistant to the president for institutional research and planning from 1986 until he retired in 1991. He continued as OBU’s part-time university historian and archivist until 1998. He was named vice president emeritus for student development by action of OBU’s board of trustees in 1994.

“I worked with Don Osborn for 30 years, and I can bear witness to his strong leadership, keen intelligence, and dedicated commitment to OBU students,” said OBU Interim President John W. Parrish. “To three decades of OBU graduates, ‘Dean’ Osborn was a legend.”

Born August 6, 1926, in Cushing, Okla., Osborn graduated from Cushing High School in 1944. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 1944-46 and 1951-52. He was stationed in Hawaii and Japan from 1945-46, and later served in Korea during 1952 as a 2nd Lieutenant.

He married Karleen Helen Moore on January 28, 1951, in Ardmore, Okla.

Osborn graduated from OBU in 1951 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He completed a master of arts degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1960 and completed additional graduate study in the field of the history of philosophy and higher education.

He received OBU’s Alumni Achievement Award in 1974 and received the University’s Distinguished Service Citation in 1986. He also received OBU’s Meritorious Service Award in 1990. He served on the Camp Fire Association board of directors and was a member of Shawnee’s Elks Lodge. He also was a member of the Oklahoma Historical Society. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Shawnee.

Osborn participated in sport related activities during much of his life. He was OBU’s golf supervisor/coach for 17 years. He was a starting pitcher in 1947 for the first season of OBU baseball after the program’s 25-year hiatus. He played for the Cushing Merchants in 1947 and 1948 and for the Shawnee ONG Gassers in 1950. He coached and played with a battalion baseball team during his Korean service.

He is survived by his wife, Karleen (Moore) Osborn of Shawnee; four daughters and sons-in-law, Kay and John Harder of Rochester, N.Y., Carol and Bill Heitland of Pontotoc, Okla., Kim and Cam Loucks of Lewisville, Texas, and Cathy and Hugh Megee of Seminole, Okla.; and 10 grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at the First Baptist Church of Shawnee at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, December 22, with Larry Walker officiating. The church is located at 10th and Union in Shawnee. Visitation will be Thursday and Friday, Dec. 20 and 22, at Walker Funeral Service, 201 E. 45th Street, Shawnee.

Online messages may be posted at www.swearingenfuneralhome.com.

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