Long-time District 117 assistant superintendent passes away

By Gary Scott on July 10, 2015 at 1:08pm

Fred Osburn, age 82, died on Wednesday at Passavant Area Hospital. He was an assistant superintendent for nearly 20 years in Jacksonville, retiring in 1992.

Among his accomplishments, Osburn was instrumental in bring the Early Childhood Education program to District 117.

Former superintendent Bob Crowe, who worked with Osburn for his entire administrative career at the school, says he had a profound effect on what happened in the instructional arena of the school district. For example, Crowe talks about changes made to the kindergarten system.

“Kindergarten teachers were all using the same approaches to the educational process. There was a curriculum revision so that every few years, all of the materials for a particular grade or particular subject were reviewed in terms of their effectiveness and in terms of their appropriateness or a particular grade level,” Crowe explains.

Crowe adds that he had a lot of respect for Osburn, and that he appreciated his patience.

“He would meet with people, and he was a listener and he would listen to what people had to say at our staff meetings and our public meetings and he would go to meeting after meeting listening to people and I admired that,” he says.

“Because many of us didn’t want to sit in meetings all day and spend time listening to what everyone had to say, but Fred was one of those that would do that, and I admired and appreciated his patience, as well as his knowledge.”

Funeral arrangements are pending at Buchanan and Cody Funeral Home in Jacksonville.