Creighton Osborne was born February 12, 1924 and grew up in Brewster, Kansas, the second of five children of Clarke and Lourene (O’Neal) Osborne. His siblings are Dorothy Mayer, Marna Williams, Velda Jones and Elroy Osborne. The Osbornes were a creative family, so when Creighton attended Brewster High School, it was natural that he would be very involved in music. He was a member of the concert and marching bands, playing alto horn, trumpet, and later, baritone and trombone. He also enjoyed playing basketball. After graduating from Brewster High School, he attended a semester at Ft. Hays State Teachers College, then joined the U.S. Navy, where he served as Musician 2 nd Class during World War II. After three years in the Navy, Creighton completed his education at the University of Denver in 1950 and began teaching music, Kindergarten through 12 th grade, that same year at Hugo. He also taught science and photography. Creighton worked his way through college and held a steady job at the Pick-A-Rib on Speer and Broadway for four years. Creighton was a fountain man and worked from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. This was especially difficult during his freshman year because he had an 8 a.m. class. He could have worked summers there as well, but he wanted to help his father, building grain elevators and rewinding electric motors.
Creighton married Dorothy Taylor in 1953 and later the couple would add Brenda, Dee Ann and Chris to make their family complete. Creighton’s first project outside of school activities in 1953 was to be a part of the hospital drive. Along with many volunteers, Creighton was involved with surveying and profiling the grounds, and layout of the building, as well as other planning phases of the construction of a medical facility. The modern 15- bed hospital opened its doors in 1959. Creighton needed to supplement his teaching income, so he decided to build the Dairy Delite, a seasonal ice cream business. With his work experience at Denver’s Pick-A-Rib, Creighton was confident the business could be a success. In 1957 Creighton constructed the building and rented the land from Cox Lumber. The Dairy Delite was located on 4th St. (Highway 40/287) in Hugo. Later, Creighton would add on to the west side of the building and bring in a walk-in cooler from the old school house. Creighton and Ray Schroeder (Ray’s Snack Bar) would buy hanging beef and make hamburger for their businesses in the new addition. All three of the Osborne children learned responsibility working at the Dairy Delite. Co-workers had fun with each other and with the customers. Many memories were cooked up in those 17 years of business! Creighton retired from teaching and sold the Dairy Delite to Don and Susie Weaver so the Osbornes could enter the grocery business.
In July 1974, Creighton and Dorothy bought Palmer Grocery from Chet and Peggy Stroud. This store was on 6 th St. next to the Town Hall in what was once the old Hugo School Shop and later, the Kindergarten. The building lease was up in 1980, so Creighton and Dorothy bought two vacant buildings on Main Street (337 4 th St.) from Renee Hines and Roy Lieber. The store was renamed Osborne’s Supermarket. Creighton, family and friends worked together to gut the two buildings, tearing out the wall between them to make one large store. In 1980, the Osbornes’ three children along with Brenda’s husband, Carl Dutro, took over the business. Creighton and Dorothy continued to work in the store, as expansion continued the next two years. Creighton also helped build the Hugo Golf Club building in 1965 and the addition to the VFW Joe Will Post 6612 in 1992. If a building needed to be torn down, Creighton was the man. He helped tear down the old school and the old shoe shop in Hugo, salvaging any of the materials that would serve for future construction projects. Creighton was never too old to try something new. At the age of 73, he joined the Masons achieving his 3rd Degree and he joined the Al Kaly Shrine Band because he loved playing in parades. Creighton also taught himself to play the bagpipes in two years on a bet with his renter, John Beckett. Creighton played the organ in both the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church for many years. He always joked that he got to hear the same sermon twice each Sunday for 40 years. He played the organ for weddings and funerals over the years. He organized the church’s first hand bell choir, involving members of the Catholic Church. Choir members also came from the Catholic Church, so many performances were done in both churches. Easter Cantatas were an amazing undertaking, but no job was too big for Creighton.
During the 1950s, Creighton built a scaffold for singers to perform as a living Christmas tree. He repeated that idea several times in later years, including a performance in the Railroad Park one cold Christmas season. He also organized the Alumni Band for the Homecoming Parades. As a music teacher, Creighton built up the music program in the Hugo Public School for 24 years. He has many plaques acknowledging the quality performance of the school band in ensemble contests for many years. Creighton took the high school band to Boulder for Band Day. His students improved because of the contests, clinics and competitions he exposed them to. He spent the last couple of years of his life learning to let others take over his longtime commitments to organizations and activity planning. He had to stop playing the bagpipes because his instrument was too old. He replaced the bag, but the reeds gave him trouble. The new reeds were plastic and couldn’t be whittled on like the old bamboo ones. Creighton had to give up playing in parades. He played in both the VFW and Shrine Bands for many years, even inviting them to play in the Lincoln County Fair Parade. It pained him to turn over the fair parade music planning to others. He was involved in many service organizations locally and at the state level. He was an idea man. Students will remember building fantastic floats under his direction. Creighton loved collecting and restoring classic cars, hunting with his bird dogs, creating projects out of the Popular Mechanics magazines (such as a plywood dune buggy on a Volkswagon chassis), building boats and fishing. Creighton always looked out for the underdog and offered help wherever it was needed. In his retirement years, he drove elderly friends to the city for doctor’s appointments. He worked with Harold Trimble, who was legally blind, with house painting. Creighton’s impact on this community is immeasurable! Creighton was a unique man, resourceful and intelligent. He was a leader. He even planned his own funeral. Sadly, he outlived many of his dear friends. But Creighton never lacked for caring friends, and the family recognizes them with much gratitude.
William Creighton Osborne died January 19, 2023 at the age of 98. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy (Taylor) Osborne, by his parents and sisters, Marna Williams and Dorothy Mayer. He is survived by his sister, Velda Jones and brother, Elroy (Maxine) Osborne, all of Colorado Springs. He is also survived by sisters-in- law, Maxine Palmer of Arizona and Loretta Normington of Utah; brother-in-law, Roy Taylor of Kansas; and by his three children and their families—Brenda (Carl) Dutro: Megan (Lucas) Hohl, and Gwendolyn and Henry; and Nicole (Aaron) Hood and Nora, all of Hugo; Dee Ann (Terry) Blevins of Hugo: Karina Low of Delta and Sidney and Jordan; Lani Blevins of Hugo; Ginger Grauberger of Springfield, OR, Benjamin (Tara) Blevins and Olivia, Mark, Hannah, and Tommy, all of Dallas, Ga.; Cortney (Max) Brummond, and Maximus and Ronin, all of Springfield, Oregon; and William Chris Osborne (DeLynn Dudenhoeffer) of Longmont, William Cory (Caitlin) Osborne and William Carter, all of Greeley. Creighton is also survived by two granddaughters, Ryanne and Kelly Osborne of Denver. Funeral services were held January 28, 2023 at the Hugo United Methodist Church, officiated by Rev. Major and Rev. Sarah Rettig. Memorial donations may be made to the Hugo United Methodist Church or to the VFW Auxiliary Post 6612 in Hugo. Friends and family can register online condolences and sign the guestbook at www.brownfuneraldirectors.com. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the care of the Brown Funeral Home.
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