William (Bill) Muir Osborne, BA’41, BASc’47

Bill Osborne

Bill passed away peacefully surrounded by family on May 2, 2012, in Thornhill, ON, at the age of 91. Bill was the beloved husband of the late Jean (née Miller) for more than 58 years.
He was the proud father of Leslie (Bob Bell), John (Shelley), Doug (Brenda) and Robert (Shirley); the cherished grandpa of Candace, Trevor, Dana (Darren), Chris (Lauren), Tyler, Kimberly, and Diana; and great-grandpa to Lyla. He was predeceased by his brother, John Bus.
A true westerner at heart, he was born and raised in Medicine Hat, AB.

A WWII veteran, he served as a gunnery officer in the Canadian Army and, after the war, in the Army Reserve until his retirement as a major in 1960. He graduated twice from UBC with degrees in chemistry and engineering. After school he joined Canadian Industries Limited and, as a practicing chemical engineer, became well-known and revered as a “technical institution” within the company. During his 42-year career he held various technical, production and senior management roles in several divisions including, explosives, forest products and, for the majority of his career, sulphur products.

He was very proud of his UBC roots and attended several class reunions through the years. After the 2009 reunion, at the age of 89 he declared of his peers “They’re all starting to look old!” A strong proponent of higher education, Bill was very proud of the post-secondary achievements of his children and grandchildren. In 2007, he attended the graduation of his granddaughter, Dana, at her UBC graduation from the School of Pharmacy, and in 2011 he was proud to present his granddaughter, Kimberly, with her iron ring during a ceremony held at the University of Waterloo. As the oldest engineer in attendance, Bill received a standing ovation.

Bill and Jean were dedicated to family and community and were long-standing United Church members. Bill was an active choir member, avid curler, golfer, gardener, photographer and scout leader. He will be remembered by his family and many friends for his determination, his story telling, his sense of fairness and his tremendous sense of humour. He looked for the good in others and gave the best that he had.

A well-attended memorial service was held on May 6 and his cremated remains were buried alongside his loving wife in the Memorial Garden of Thornhill United Church, the very garden he conceptualized and made happen. He will be dearly missed, but is back together with the love of his life in heaven. “I loved my life, I loved my wife.”


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