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James Osborn

James Osborn

James Lawton Osborn (Ozzy), 63, of Missoula, MT died in his home on July 10, 2017, after a beleaguering battle with cancer. He left peacefully knowing the life he created was complete; full of love, and a lot of laughs.

Jim was born June 18, 1954 in Dickinson, ND to Marjorie (Kennedy) and Lawton (Buzz) Osborn. He enjoyed a carefree life growing up in North Dakota. There was much fun to be had throughout his formative years with his two sisters, close cousins, and good friends. Many of his friends were to be life-long, and possess fond memories of their childhood adventures.

He graduated from Dickinson High School in 1972, where he played basketball, lettered in golf, and was a charter member of the Dickinson Trap Club. Jim continued his education and extra-curricular activities at the University of North Dakota, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He graduated as a proud "Fighting Sioux" with a BS degree in business administration.

Along the way, Jim gained his certifications in scuba diving and ice diving. He was also a member of the Dickinson Masonic Lodge #32, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, and a lifelong Elks member.

He returned to Dickinson to put his degree to use in the business industry. This lasted only a short time before he started his 33 year career with Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad and Montana RailLink (MRL), where he worked until his retirement in 2013, across North Dakota and Montana. He lived in Dickinson, ND, Mandan, ND, and Livingston, MT before making Missoula, MT his home for the next thirty years. He knew this was his place, and built a good life in the Garden city.

Jim met Cassandra Libbey in Missoula, and they married in 1990. Her daughter, Layne, became central to his life. He stepped into parenthood easily with a kind heart, fair mind, and sense of humor. Anyone could see that this Father/Daughter bond was a great gift to both.

Some of his favorite memories were from trips with his family, golf weekends with his friends, and annual bird hunting gatherings. He loved to golf, hunt, fish, float the local waters, and camp on the shores of Priest Lake. Animals had a special spot in Jim's heart as well. Rarely did you find him without a dog or cat by his side.

Jim was a respected mentor and colleague on the railroad, a beloved friend to many, a giving and cherished father and brother. For all of these reasons and countless more, Jim/Ozzy will forever be a special part of our hearts and souls.

He was preceded in death by his parents Buzz and Marjorie; and cousin Cathy (Fischer) Kahn.

He leaves behind his stepmother, Shirley (Lorette) Osborn, Mesa, AZ; daughter, Layne Fisher, Bozeman, MT; sisters Katie (Dick) Cooper, Billings, MT and Ann (Chip) Fischer, Rhame, ND; cousin, Robert (Christy) Fischer, Twin Falls, ID; nieces Daniell (Hedrick) Hammill, Kristine (Larson) Lofgren, Kathleen Larson, Madison Fischer; and nephew, Jaxson Fischer; and special loving friend, Bev Dell, Missoula, MT.