NORMAN — Bart Osburn, 91, died at home in his sleep Wednesday, July 31, 2013. He was born Hobart Glenn Osburn on Aug. 6, 1921, to James Jonathan Osburn and Myrtle Green Walker in Washington County, Ark.
He was preceded in death by his beloved siblings, sisters Rema Carson and Thelma Price and his brother, Don Osburn.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Losche Osburn; his daughter, Susan Kruk and her ex-husband Gary Kruk and their children Rachael and Jonathan Kruk; Susan’s partner, Jerry Simeroth; daughter, Leslie Cornwell and her husband John Cornwell and their children Ben and his wife Lauren, and Kate and Cal Cornwell; and daughter, Jane Osburn and her husband Scott Wales. Bart’s two great-grandchildren are Campbell and Anna Cornwell, children of Ben and Lauren Cornwell. Bart also is survived by his dear younger sisters Bette Owens and Gayle Lewis, of Enid, and many nieces, nephews and their families.
Embracing and talking with his sisters, nieces and nephews and the large Osburn extended family at the 2012 annual Osburn reunion was a treasured and emotional time.
He is also survived by brother in-laws, Craig and Kent Losche and their wives Barbara and Cynthia and countless nieces and nephews.
Bart graduated from Enid High School in 1940, attended the University of Oklahoma and in 1942 joined the U.S. Air Force to fight in World War II. His plane was shot down over the Bay of Corinth, and he was a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany, until it was liberated by the Russians in May 1945. After the war, Bart attended the University of Michigan on the GI Bill and earned a Ph.D. in industrial psychology. He met Barbara Evans Losche at the university and they married Aug. 23, 1947.
Bart was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Carbondale before becoming a full professor at the University of Houston in Houston. Bart had a long, fulfilling and happy career at the UH. He loved teaching, his role as a mentor, researcher and as a consultant for many major corporations.
Bart was an active member of the First Unitarian Church in Houston. He served as chair of the church board, and under his leadership and in cooperation with leaders from the neighborhood around the church, the Martin Luther King Community Center was established.
He and Barbara attended the Alley Theatre with dear friends every season for many years. His retirement at age 70 was marked by a wonderful party hosted by colleagues and students who were very dear to him; they were the sons he never had and the daughters he loved. His students and colleagues also established the Bart Osburn Endowment for Industrial-Organizational Psychology scholarship, which was celebrated at another party at the SIOP convention in New Orleans in April 2000.
Bart is also survived by neighbors and friends of many years, Bob and Dot Neidinger. Bart and Barbara and the Neidingers celebrated countless Thanksgivings, Friday nights, Christmas dinners together and traveled to Italy, Turkey, Greece and many other countries. Bob, Dot, Bart and Barbara built a beach house together in Freeport, Texas, where they, their children and grandchildren spent many wonderful summer days. Bart and Barbara also traveled with Barbara’s brother, Kent and his wife Cynthia; with brother, Craig and his wife Barbara; with cousin, Carol Malsch; and with other friends as well. Bart was a dedicated tennis player and treasured his daily tennis game at McGregor Park with good friends and colleagues.
After retirement, Bart served for two years as a docent at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Over the years, Bart provided abundant love and support to his children and their families. He traveled many times to Austin, Texas, from Houston to visit his daughter, Jane, and talked of her often.
In 2007, Bart and Barbara sold their home of 47 years and moved to Norman to be close to their daughter, Leslie, and her family and to daughter, Susan, and her family who had moved to Norman six months earlier. For the last seven years of his life, Bart shared meals and daily happy hours with his wife, Barbara, who he loved very much, his children and grandchildren and friends.
Friday nights were often spent with T.H. and Kathy Milby, friends from St. Stephen’s Methodist Church. Visits from his sisters, former students and an expedition to Fort Worth on the train to meet friend, Dick Rozelle, were some of the highlights of these years.
Lisa Linman, Deb Brown, Meg Crossley and Gary Kruk cared for Bart and Barbara this past year with competence and compassion. We are so grateful.
Bart’s ashes will be placed in the columbarium at St. Stephen’s United Methodist Church in Norman.
His memorial service will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at St. Stephen’s Church, 1801 W. Brooks St. in Norman.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Bart Osburn Industrial-Organizational Psychology Scholarship fund. Susan, Leslie and Jane were born under a lucky star when they were born to Barbara and Bart Osburn. We could not have asked for more.
Donations can be mailed or done online. Mail to Lolin Wang-Bennett, Ph.D, director of advancement, University of Houston,126 Heyne Bldg, Houston, TX 77204-5022 Tel: 713-743-8522, Fax: 713-743-8588, email: Lwangfirstname.lastname@example.org. Designate the Osburn Endowment for I/O Psychology.
Or go to uh.edu/class/psychology/giving/ways-to-give/
index.php, go through the CLASS Online Gifts Form, click the “Please designate my gift to” pull down menu and select “Psychology.” Specify the gift further to “Osburn Endowment for I/O Psychology.” This fund is not on the selection menu. The information must be typed in. Email Lolin Wang-Bennett at Lwangemail@example.com to alert her of the donation.
Norman Transcript, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013