Calvin Osborn

  • "Cal was one of the parents from my childhood. Memories..."
    - Wally Baker
  • "I am saddened by this news. We are diminished by his loss,..."
    - Tammy Selee
  • "Will miss his smile and laughter, and yes I have his very..."
    - Mary Doyle
  • "He was a gentlemen and delightful person to know."
    - Melody Ploetz
  • "I am so sorry for your loss. I knew Cal about 34 years ago...."
    - Robin Hall Arriz

Calvin Osborn
1928 ~ 2014
Calvin Osborn of Boise died peacefully at home on Friday, January 10, 2014, surrounded by loving family. He was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 19, 1928, the only child of Carrie Wiel Osborn and Earl J Osborn, where he spent his formative years as a Hoosier. He graduated from Indiana University in 1950, served in the Air Force during the Korean War, and then married and moved west to Seattle, then Bellingham, and finally Boise where he raised a large family and spent the remainder of what turned out to be a long and happy life. The most important highlights (and favorite sayings) he'd want us to share are as follows:
He wrote in a journal every single day for over forty years because, "Knowing I'd have to write something held me accountable to truly live each day." ~ He loved to dance and was one of the first ten "Ambassador Hosts" in the cruise ship industry, dancing with hundreds and hundreds of women on eighty cruises sailing oceans all over the world. He used to quip, "Some people walk on water. I dance on water." ~ He was an avid attender of Boise community events and often claimed to hold "a Ph.D. in Audience and Applause." ~ He never met a jazz festival or Rogers and Hammerstein musical extravaganza that he didn't thoroughly enjoy and frequently broke into song in public places (a trait his children can finally appreciate now that the danger is gone.) ~ He loved people and the art of conversation, was a stickler for a proper introduction, and tried to learn something from everyone he met. "You have two ears and one mouth and they should be used in that proportion." ~ His employment covered a variety of jobs including a summer at Yellowstone Park, a stint as a Crypto Operator during the war, and a career as a successful IBM executive who never lost sight of the value of a half-off coupon. ~ He read voraciously, studied issues in depth, and attended classes with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at B.S.U. until a month before he died. "The key to retirement is staying physically active and intellectually curious." ~ He declined to ever learn how to use a computer saying he'd rather go for a walk. ~ He started early and traveled extensively via hitchhiking, buses, railway, air, and sea, and indeed, maps were among his final reading materials. He said that at last count he'd visited 77 out of 216 countries. He firmly believed that, "To get along anyplace in this world have a smile on your face and good manners." ~ He fished, camped, hiked, skied, sailed, canoed, rode horses, and drove the back roads through thousands of miles of coastline, lake country, parks, and wild country. The natural world was ever his delight and sanctuary and he often confided that, "My church starts on the other side of the window pane." ~ He loved his own jokes and laughed just as hard on the hundredth retelling as he did on the first. ~ He loved the Boise Greenbelt, Idaho history, Coors beer, the Sawtooth and White Cloud mountain ranges, telling stories around the campfire after a day of fishing, sleeping under the stars, and, for over two decades, handing out his "business card" of life's wisdoms to every friend, neighbor, acquaintance, cashier, parking attendant, waitress, and unsuspecting passerby he met. (Check your wallet. You may have one.)
Above all else Cal loved his family and he will be sorely missed. He's survived by his devoted companion of thirty-four years, Corinne Thiebert, and his five children and their families: Calvin Osborn, Jr. and wife Dia with children Lorin and McKenna, Jerry Osborn and wife Hanane with children David and Camelia, John Osborn and wife Rachael, Melinda Hadzor with companion Shane Ellisor and daughter Ashley Hadzor, and Debbie Wilder and husband Stewart with son Nate. Cal is also joyfully (and probably inappropriately) greeted on the other side by his beloved grandson Cameron. #LiveWilder! In addition he leaves behind his friend and mother of his children, Marie Osborn, as well as the loving Thiebert children: Debbie Barker, Pauline Persinger, John Thiebert, Tom Thiebert, and Deanna Crowder along with their beautiful families.
The whole family would like to acknowledge and offer our heartfelt thanks to the following people and organizations that helped Cal achieve a near-miraculous quality of life throughout his final years: Dr. Bollinger and the St. Luke's Hospice team, Dr. Cost and Shane Johnson with V.A., and Dr. Alluri with MSTI. Well done all. You deserve wings.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to organizations close to Cal's heart such as theIdaho Quality of Life Coalition, St. Luke's Hospice, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, The Heritage Fund of Boise Park and Rec, Boise State Marching Band, Boise Music Week fund, or Boise Little Theater.
A public celebration of Cal's life will be held on September 19th in Boise, and all who knew and loved him will be warmly welcomed. Details to be announced through family, or you can contact John Osborn at or 509.939.1290.

Published in Idaho Statesman on Jan. 25, 2014
bullet Air Force bullet Indiana University bullet Korean War