2019-05-22 wcat-osborn honoredJF

Wagoner Police Chief Bob Haley, left, presents Eugene Osborn with a special certificate. Deputy Chief Tony Ponds, right, also helped with the presentation. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Red Bird Mayor Eugene Osborn continues to lead an interesting life.

In March, Osborn ended 35 years of work in the Juvenile Services Field when he retired. Wagoner Mayor Albert Jones declared the day “Eugene Osborn Day” during a brief ceremony.

Osborn spent those years trying to help juveniles who had taken a wrong road in life. He would work with families, too, and try to turn lives around.

This was one of Osborn’s most important jobs, but not the only one he had through the years.

The 77-year-old played a little semi-pro baseball at one time and knew LA Dodger great Manny Mota, served in the Air Force, has an eye for making ceramic items, a party disc jockey, golf club manager, organized recreation activities in Denver and did a little stand-up comedy for the USO as well as producing shows for it.

“They enjoyed it. I got a little stage fright,” Osborn admitted.

He was also the Mayor of Red Bird for 16 years beginning in 1991. He has since returned to that job on April 22.

During his first tour as mayor of Red Bird, he had to fix the water and gas system as well as get city books balanced. Through hard work and a bit of good fortune through the INCOG organization, Red Bird got things going again.

“We got a lot of infrastructure fixed,” Osborn said.

Osborn got a lot of satisfaction from helping juveniles, too. He spent time working in a similar job in Tulsa before coming to Wagoner. He went from intake worker to a juvenile justice specialist.

“We had more success in Wagoner,” Osborn said of the comparison. “Things worked better in Wagoner.”

Osborn will be missed, but was honored for his service.

John covers news and sports for the Wagoner County American-Tribune. Phone: 918-485-5505