John Robert Osborne, former elementary principal in East Bernard, passed away peacefully in his home on November 10, 2018, at the age of 82 after a battle with ALS. Born in LaGrange, Texas on January 18, 1936, to Samuel Vance and Nell Osborne, he spent his youth all over Texas, living with his family in Houston, Austin, Huntsville, LaGrange, Irene and graduating from Brady High School.
He started his college education at the University of Texas where he was also in the Marine Reserves, eventually becoming active duty military when he joined the US Air Force. After his discharge he attended Sam Houston State University where he received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education along with his principal certificate. After graduation he became assistant principal and science teacher in Huntsville where he met his wife of 53 years) Caroline Rausch.
After getting married he returned to UT, where he received his administration certificate. While working on his doctorate degree, he started as elementary principal in East Bernard in 1968, where he remained until his retirement in 1998. As a principal, Mr. Osborne was beloved by several generations of East Bernard students. He was known for his stunts, inducting shaving his head, kissing a pig, dressing as a hot dog and holding his office on the roof for a day.
After retirement, Robert was an adversary for the rights of senior citizens, serving as a member of the Texas Silver-Haired Legislature and the Houston-Galveston Area Council on Aging. He was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wallis, where he served in various roles over the years including president, elder, and resident humorist at VBS. The Fellowship Wing of the church stands as a memorial to his excellent leadership in planning and building it.
He was lovingly called Pop-Train by his grandchildren, a reference to his love for trains and model railroading. Always a kid at heart, he was constantly tinkering with a new toy. Always quick with a joke, he kept a collection of his favorite jokes in a file at home. He and his wife enjoyed travel and were frequently taking cruises.
He is survived by his wife, Caroline Rausch Osborne of East Bernard, brother-in-law, Carl Rausch and wife Jackie of Burkeville, son Robbie Osborne of East Bernard, daughter Karen Petrusek and husband David Petrusek of Needville, grandchildren, Ally Petrusek, Kyle Petn1sek, and Carter Osborne, and step grandchildren, Kaitlynn Hendricks and Caleb Hendricks. He is preceeded in death by his parents, Samuel and Nell Osborne, his brother, Richard Osborne and sister, Nell Ann Langley.