John James Osborne (1931 - 2019)

  • "Dear Wanda, Ellen, Cathy, Mary, John, and families I am..."
    - Diane Drescher
  • "Sorry for your family's loss. Thinking of you all."
    - Tracey Donnelly Poole
  • "Sorry to hear about your father's passing. He was a humble..."
  • "Mary and Steve, Bill and I are sorry for your loss. May God..."
    - Bill and Diana Walsh
Service Information
Celebration of Life
Sunday, Jul. 14, 2019
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Osborne Home
64 School Street
Contoocook, NH
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John James Osborne died peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, at the Concord Regional Visiting Nurses Association's Hospice House in Concord, New Hampshire, on July 11. He was 87.

John is survived by his wife of 60 years, Wanda Cummiford Osborne; daughter Ellen and her husband Andrew Cohoe of Fort Mill, South Carolina; daughter Catherine and her husband Dave Gram, of Montpelier, Vermont; daughter Mary and her husband Steve Jackson of Gilmanton Iron Works, New Hampshire; son John and his wife Jennifer of Henniker, New Hampshire; 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

John was born in Brooklyn, New York, Dec. 2, 1931, and graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1947, at the age of 16. He also sped his way through college, graduating from St. Francis College in Brooklyn with a degree in sociology in three years. From June of 1953 to May of 1955, John served in the U.S. Army, completing his service with an honorable discharge at the rank of private first class.

After military service, John enrolled at the Michigan College of Mining and Technology, where he earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. It was during his time at Michigan Tech that John met Wanda on a blind date arranged by friends at the Tech's Winter Carnival of 1958. They married the following September. The couple lived briefly in Denver, Colorado, and Ogden, Utah, before moving to Palo Alto, California, where John earned his master's degree in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford University in 1961. The couple later moved to Brooklyn, New York, John's hometown, before settling in Contoocook, New Hampshire, in 1970.

John took a job as a water quality engineer with the State of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and devoted his career to inspecting and overseeing installations and upgrades to municipal wastewater treatment systems around the state. John was a quiet man and didn't brag, but was proud of the fact that few have done more to protect and enhance the quality of New Hampshire's streams and lakes. A plaque at the Franklin, New Hampshire, wastewater treatment station honors his career and service to the Granite State. He had a personal stake in the quality of those waters and their inhabitants as well. An avid fisherman of both the coastal and inland variety, John did not consider a warm-weather weekend complete without at least one fishing trip. It was a passion he shared with his extended family, teaching anyone who would pay attention how bait a hook, tie knots and reel in the big one. He often provided the protein for Osborne family dinners and, when the fish were abundant, shared with neighbors as well. With his engineering background, John also was the go-to guy for grandchildren stumped by math homework.

A private graveside service on Saturday will be followed with an open house/celebration of life from 1-3 p.m. Sunday at the Osborne home, 64 School Street, Contoocook. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Water Project of Concord, New Hampshire at The family would like to thank the caregivers of Concord Hospital and Hospice House of Concord for their excellent and compassionate work.


Published in The Concord Monitor on July 11, 2019
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