He was born Aug. 10, 1924, the third of 12 children, in Princeton, W.Va., to Mack and Eve Osborne.
At the age of 17, Dave joined the U.S. Navy, much to his mother’s chagrin. His military career extended from 1943 until his honorable discharge in 1946. Dave was a coxswain, armed gunner for merchant ships and traveled on ships carrying oil from South America to California, and fuel to points in Iran, Iraq, Ceylon, Borneo, New Guinea and the Philippines.
While David was being discharged from the Navy at Treasure Island, he met Delia “Dell” Bourassa on New Year’s Day in 1946 on the Oakland Bay Bridge, in California, where the bus they were riding broke down. They were married two months later on March 20, 1946.
This loving union of 58 years brought six children: Jody and Richard Fee of Whitefish, Mont., Diana and Duane Johnson of Whitefish, Gloria Osborne and Mike McPherson of Jackson, Ohio, Carolyn Osborne and John Layne of Whitefish, David Osborne and Nancy Olson of Roseburg, and Danny Osborne, who is deceased.
Dave Dell settled in West Virginia, but after a few years he ventured out to Montana, where he was able to find work in the construction trade. After a few years he got into the heating and air conditioning business in Helena, Mont., and eventually moved to Whitefish, where he, along with his brother Elmer, bought Lauzon Heating and Air Conditioning.
In 1965 he moved to Medford, where he went to work for California Pacific Utilities. He retired on a medical disability in the mid 1970s due to a serious car accident in which he was injured as a passenger.
After a number of difficult years following the accident, Dave and his family moved to Indio, Calif., and then Brookings. While in Brookings, Dave was very active in the Knights of Columbus, became the Grand Knight, and was granted a lifetime membership, of which he was very proud.
He spent much of his time helping at the Star of the Sea Catholic Church, as well as volunteering for the South Coast Fishermen, building steelhead trout habitat and assisting with stocking programs, which are still being used today. He was an active member of Elks Lodge 1934 in Brookings.
Dave and Dell will always be known for never turning away when someone was in need. Over the years they enjoyed ocean fishing, camping, hunting and traveling.
Eventually Dave and Dell returned to Whitefish to be near their daughter, Diana. While they were able, they spent their winters in Mesa, Ariz., and summers in Whitefish.
Eight years ago Dell died and Dave entered the Montana Veterans Home Aug. 19, 2008. He loved being part of the veterans’ home where he enthusiastically participated in all the activities. In fact, just days before he passed away, he could be found playing the spoons with the various music groups who entertain at the veterans’ home. He was very appreciative of the staff and enjoyed the company of the fellow veterans.
Dave will be dearly missed for his quick wit, unlimited stories, jokes, and his love for his numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law as well as many friends.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Dell; his parents; his sister Joyce Dobbins; his brother JR; and his son Danny.
Surviving brothers and sisters include Junior and Louise of Princeton, W.Va., Bud Osborne of Helena, Elmer and Marilyn of Helena, Tom and Gwenette of Helena, Frank and Rose of Helena, Maxine Olson and Gene of Helena, Ruth Rollins of Helena, Margaret Carnes and George of Medford, Faye McPherson and Arnold of Jackson; and brother-in-law Junior Dobbins .
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, April 13, at St. Richard’s Catholic Church in Columbia Falls. Burial will follow at Glacier Memorial Gardens in Kalispell.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Montana Veterans Home Bingo and Craft Programs, P.O. Box 250, Columbia Falls, MT 59912.
To send condolences to the family, please go to www.buffalohillfh.com.
Buffalo Hill Funeral Home is caring for the family.
Submitted by Buffalo Hill Funeral Home.