Eleanor Osgood
1945 - 2021
Eleanor Osgood, long-time resident of Culver City, died September 11, 2021. During her 75 years, she contributed to her community as a speech pathologist, school teacher, and community volunteer who engaged others in the fascinating world of birdwatching and in restoring natural habitats. She succumbed after fighting colon disease for six months.
Eleanor was born in Chicago on December 10, 1945. While still an infant, she moved to West Los Angeles with her parents and older brother. After graduating Hamilton High School, Eleanor attended the University of Oregon. She then transferred to the University of California at Berkeley where she was involved in the Free Speech Movement before earning her BA. She completed a MA in Special Education at Washington State University and another MA in Speech Pathology at California State University Long Beach.
Eleanor spent her professional life working in Los Angeles County schools. She worked both as a speech pathologist and special education teacher. She had a special knack for connecting with children with learning disabilities and other special needs.
Outside the classroom, Eleanor enjoyed American folk music, and she played the banjo at informal hootnannies as a young adult. She loved animals and enjoyed the company of her pet cats and birds. She traveled widely as a birdwatcher throughout the USA and to distant places, including Antarctica, Easter Island, and Mongolia. Gardening was another of Eleanor's passions. She spent long hours cultivating a garden of native plants at her home of over 50 years in Culver City. She deeply appreciated and protected the natural world. During the past 21 years, she was joined in her home by her significant other, Rich Waters, another nature lover.
For more than 30 years, Eleanor volunteered in the Ornithology section at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, assisting with a great many tasks and preparing over 500 bird specimens. Among her other volunteer public outreach projects, Eleanor was a coordinator for Los Angeles Audubon's Snowy Plover program, led nature walks at Franklin Canyon and Kenneth Hahn Parks, helped develop bird conservation educational materials in Spanish, launched the "Weed Warrior" project in Baldwin Hills Parklands, and worked to make Culver City's tree trimming policies more wildlife friendly. She also contributed to the Los Angeles County Breeding Bird Atlas as a regional coordinator by assisting with data management and writing the final publication.
Eleanor received recognition for being an exemplary volunteer from the County of Los Angeles, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Los Angeles Audubon Society. She was also honored by the Disney Conservation Fund as one of their heroes in 2020. They acknowledged; "Eleanor's work has helped to engage people of all ages in the wonders of birdwatching and the importance of restoring and protecting nature within our urban communities."
Eleanor is survived by her significant other, Rich Waters, her brother, Kenneth Osgood and his family, and her cat, Moee.
A private celebration of Eleanor's life will be held in October at Stoneview Nature Center in Culver City. Contact [email protected] for more information. Tributes to Eleanor's life and work will be welcomed by three of her favorite charities: The Nature Conservancy, The California Native Plant Society, or the ACLU.
Published by Culver City News from Sep. 30 to Oct. 1, 2021.
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