Wednesday, July 3, 1929
Date of Death:
Sunday, May 17, 2020
90 years old
Jean Osman - Rochester, MN
Jean Osman, 90, of Rochester, died Sunday, May 17, 2020, at Charter House in Rochester, MN.
Jean was born July 3, 1929, in Rochester, MN to Dr. Newton and Ruth Smith. She received her BA from Wheaton College in Norton, MA; she later received her MA from St. Mary’s College in Winona, MN. Jean traveled to and from Wheaton, navigating for pilot Arthur Osman in his Beechcraft Bonanza. After she graduated, they were married on June 30, 1951 in Rochester. During their marital bliss, she brought 5 children into the world and supported Art on the family farm with unceasing devotion, all while achieving top accolades in her profession. Jean and Art were married 46 years, until Art’s death in 1997.
In 1956, Paula Rome recruited Jean to join The Reading Center (Rochester), using the Orton-Gillingham learning approach to serve people with dyslexia. During Jean’s 63-year career, she teamed to build The Reading Center from Paula’s finished basement into an international learning institute for children, adults, and teachers.
Jean’s career was a roadmap of education, neuroscience, technology, and inclusive learning during the past 70 years. Twenty-foot phone cords became her Internet tutoring, skeptical school districts bent to international recognition, yet her approach was ever the same: treat everyone with respect, offer solid encouragement, learn something new every day, and set an inexorable work pace worthy of the top echelon in her profession.
TheReadingCenter.org site has an excellent summary of Jean’s career. The site’s About_Us menu contains Jean Osman and History links for your awe and illumination.
To her family and the world, Jean Osman was a stone cold pro and a woman of substance. She learned, taught, led, and set a prime example. She kept her marriage, family, and organization in rock steady balance, without raising her voice or seeking the spotlight. Fly on, elegant lady.
Jean is survived by brother Newton Dee (Alice) Smith of Mahtomedi MN, children Kent (Patti) Osman of St. Paul MN, Jody (Saado) Abboud of New Hope MN, Amy (Bobby) Basnyat of Rochester, Jay (Nancee) Osman of Milford, Iowa, and Todd (Michele) Osman of Hayfield MN. She is survived by 13 grandchildren residing in Minnesota, Colorado, and Washington; her first great-grandchild is due on May 26.
Jean is preceded in death by her parents and her husband Art Osman. Jean will be cremated and her ashes commingled with Art’s. A memorial celebration will be scheduled at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be sent to The Jean Osman Scholarship Fund at: The Reading Center, 2010 Scott Road NW, Rochester, MN 55901. Notes or cards may be sent to the same address, c/o Family of Jean Osman, or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The family of Jean Osman has received the following condolences.
Dear family of Jean Osman,
Jean was someone who helped to mentor and support me and many others who
worked with children and adults with dyslexia. So often she gave us advice that helped
us understand those with whom we worked as they learned to read, write and spell.
Jean herself always gave us an example of patience, understanding and support
of those with disabilities. There is not a day that passes when I do not reach for one of
the books or materials that she gave to us as tutors. I like to use the way Jean taught us,
as "Jean knew just how to tell us the best way."
I will remember her always with a prayer of thanksgiving for all she did for so many.
Jean was such a warm and kind woman. I live here at Charter House but I also lived across the road from her on Tiffany Cove. We would see each other as she walked around the circle with her little dog. When I was in my mid 20’s she and Paula hired me to be a reading tutor. I’m sure it must have been Jean who trained me. I have nothing but good memories of her..
with my sincerest sympathy. Lynne Kirklin
My heart goes out to all of you—-her family AND her reading center. Being the pioneer and leader in reading that was, she will be sorely missed by all who have known and loved her. Special ‘hugs’ to Kent, Jody, Amy, Jay, and Todd as well as to all of her grand children.
it was truly my pleasure to have know and loved you all
1915 17 1/2 Street NW