With profound sorrow the Osborn family announces the passing of Jeffrey Whitaker Osborn on May 4th, 2023. He is survived by Shelley, his loving partner of 17 years, his children with former wife Monique: Guy, Dominic (Ginny), Cassandra (Ann), and Denny (Keith), his grandchildren: Alessandro, Valentina, Guy, Edmund, Felix, Tabitha and Phoebe and great grandchildren: Hector, Willow, Reuben and Parker Rose. He was predeceased by his brother Pat and his second wife Helen. Jeff’s love for his family and pride in their accomplishments was always abundantly evident.
Please wear sensible shoes at Eden Valley Natural Burial Ground.
If you do wish to bring flowers, please can you ensure that there is no plastic oasis or ribbon used, Only natural fibers.
Jeff was an intellectual with a wonderful sense of humour and an ongoing curiosity which fuelled his diverse interests.He loved a project, which he would attack with graphs, rational debate and unswerving conviction. This ability served him well throughout his professional life as Professor of Anatomy in the Department of Dentistry at Guy’s Hospital for 27 years followed with 28 years at the invitation of the University of Alberta to be Professor/Chairman of the Department of Oral Biology. In 1971-72 Jeff was invited to Harvard as visiting Agassiz Professor in Vertebrate Palaeontology.
Research was a passion for Jeff. He started with the structure of dental enamel and progressed to the evolution of dental patterns focussing on the evolutionary transition from reptilian to mammalian forms of dentition. Jeff would describe how he used mathematical analysis juxtaposed with biological thinking. This unusual talent lead to a multitude of fascinating published papers which are quoted to this day. He lectured around the world including a memorable conference in Milan. Jeff seldom expressed regret but even a few weeks ago, he wished that he had accepted the offered tickets to the La Scala Opera House.
He loved a good debate and revelled in being devil’s advocate at committee meetings and conferences. Never one to rubber stamp anything, he would prepare thoroughly and present his thoughts and questions fearlessly, to the consternation of some, to the admiration of others.
Not only did Jeff excel academically, he was a natural at sport as well. He was Victor Ludorum in prep school, Captain of cricket at age 15 and later played rugby with the Wasps. He was staff/ undergraduate squash champion at Guy’s.
He and his older brother Pat were very close and highly competitive in all sport .
Yet another lesser known talent was one of modelling for a short time. There were life size cut-outs of Jeff in various stores, much to the curiosity of his colleagues at Guy’s Hospital.
Jeff was a Renaissance man, who was passionate about life’s experiences. He loved to garden, listen to opera, read poetry, sip fine wine, and create culinary delights. He was a fascinating conversationalist, who could nudge thoughts in interesting directions. People would often express appreciation for the depth and range of their conversations with Jeff. He was well travelled and loved taking photos and documenting his adventures. He was never averse to reading an instruction book and figuring things out from hanging electric garage doors to the finesse of learning a new computer program or complicated camera settings. He relished life’s challenges yet loved the simple , unbridled affection of his dogs.
Jeff was many things to many people and made such a difference to those lucky enough to know him. He drank life to the lees. We cherish his memory and raise our glasses to toast a life well lived.
A selection of floral posies. Approximate sizes are:
A beautiful range of sympathy baskets. Approximate sizes include: