Leoland Ray Osburn, age 87, of Galt died March 1st, 2013 at home with family. Leoland or "Lee" was born January 18, 1926 in Cardin, OK, the oldest of three children. His father, Thomas, was a miner and entrepreneur when Lee was young. His mother, Julia, was a homemaker.
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Lee grew up in OK and attended school in Century, OK. Also, from an early age, Lee demonstrated an intent curiosity and determination and for the rest of his life was frequently self-taught on anything he took an interest in. For example, he taught himself to play the five-string banjo and the harmonica. Lee was an avid reader, especially of magazines and books devoted to auto mechanics, popular science or Christianity. Lee loved working on cars and he meticulously maintained the family cars in top working order.
Lee in April 1944 joined the US Navy at the age of 18, where he served as a Seaman First Class during WWII. He trained aboard the destroyer USS Kennison stationed in San Diego. After training he was assigned to the Pacific arena aboard the transport ship USS Bladen where he was action in two Pacific Battles (Okinawa and Iwo Jima) and for which Lee was awarded 2 stars Asiatic Pacific. Lee also went ashore on Japan's Shikoku Island less then three months after the first Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, which was only about 50 miles away.
While Lee was at naval training in San Diego, his parents moved the rest of their family there to be near him. After WWII ended and Lee was honorably discharged, then he with his parents and siblings moved to Ione, CA in Amador County at the suggestion of a friend.
Lee met his wife, Doris, at church in Amador County and after two months of courtship they were married on Jauary 16, 1954 in Plymouth, CA, only two days before Lee's 28th birthday. They enjoyed 59 years of marriage and on their golden 50th anniversary their children hosted for them a wonderful anniversary party. Lee and Doris started their first home in Ione, CA and quickly had four children all born in Amador County. Lee moved his young family to Galt, CA in 1964, where they purchased their first home. Over the years they lived in more than one home, but it was always in Galt, since they enjoyed the slower and family friendly small town environment.
Lee worked the vast majority of his life in the service department of auto dealerships. He worked for 22 years at Swift Dodge in Sacramento, from where he retired. Lee was their sixth employee and at their peak they were the 3rd largest Dodge dealership in the US.
Lee's family was always his first priority. Lee was also a gentle, generous and compassionate man who was a deeply committed Christian. He valued and taught faith and integrity to his children by his example. He from time to time taught Sunday School and was a very knowledgeable teacher. He formed his convictions early in life and they fixed in him for the rest of his life. Lee always had time to listen to others and he most enjoyed spending time with family.
Lee is survived by his wife, Doris, his children David (wife Susan), Deborah, Larry and Nancy (husband Art). He is also survived by his grandson David Fraser. Additionally, he is survived by his sister Sue Osburn and his brother Ben (wife Geri) Osburn. Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Julia.
The family wishes to especially thank Lee's wife, Doris Osburn, who as a retired licensed nurse provided Lee with outstanding care in his final years. We also wish to thank the doctors and medical staff of Sutter Medical Foundation in Sacramento, CA for their excellent care.
The memorial service will be at Cherokee Memorial Park in the Chapel of Flowers on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 11 am. Committal will be in the Sierra View Mausoleum at Cherokee Memorial Park, Lodi, CA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Reasearch (www.michaeljfox.org) or the the American Kidney Fund (www.kidneyfun.org)
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from March 5 to March 12, 2013