Frances Osborne

Frances Patricia Osborne

1927 - 2021

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Obituary of Frances Patricia Osborne

Frances Patricia Osborne, 94, of Ivoryton, Connecticut, passed away peacefully at Middlesex Hospital on Christmas Day, 2021, with her son David by her side. Known as Pat, she was the beloved mother of David Osborne and the beloved wife of the late John W. Osborne, a Professor of History at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Pat was born in 1927 in Trenton, NJ, the eldest of three children born to William F. and Frances A. Hannon. She grew up in North Arlington and Kearny, NJ. In 1944, with World War II raging, she worked her first summer job at an RCA factory that made radio tubes for the military to help the war effort. Pat graduated from Kearny High School in 1945 and then from Washington School for Secretaries in Newark, NJ, in 1946. She worked as a secretary for the next twelve years at Rutgers University College of Pharmacy in Newark. In 1951, she was promoted to Secretary to the Dean of the College of Pharmacy. While working full time, Pat took courses at University College, the night college of Rutgers University. For fifteen years, she devoted her nights and weekends to her studies. She also served as President of the University College Women’s Society. Pat received a B.A. in English, with Honors, from Rutgers University in 1962. Patricia Hannon met John Osborne in a University College Philosophy class in 1955. They married in 1958 and moved to New Brunswick, NJ, where Pat supported them by working as a legal secretary at Johnson & Johnson while John worked toward his Ph.D. There Pat began a lifelong second career as editor, proofreader, and typist of her husband’s scholarly works. John Osborne eventually became an internationally recognized authority on British history with more than 150 publications, including five books, to his name. Pat helped produce virtually all of these works, and John acknowledged her contributions in the Prefaces to his books. John dedicated one of his books, John Cartwright, to his wife Pat, and this book is still available online from Cambridge University Press. Pat and John moved to West Orange, NJ, in 1963, and Pat left the workforce for ten years to be a full-time homemaker and mother to their son, David. She remained active in the local chapter of The League of Women Voters and in her local Catholic Church. Pat eventually returned to work as a legal secretary and later as a librarian at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark. She finished her working career as a legal librarian at the law firm of Shanley & Fisher in Morristown, NJ, then she moved with John to Ivoryton in 1994. Pat was an avid, lifelong reader with particular interests in literature, history, biography, and art. She and John often visited museums, art galleries, bookstores, and theaters in Manhattan, New Jersey, Connecticut, and throughout the Northeast. Her admiration for traditional Western culture was shared by her husband, and they traveled together to almost every European country and to many of the Fifty States. Pat remained active in retirement, participated in reading groups at the Essex Library, and served for almost twenty years as a docent at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT. A lifelong, faithful Catholic, Pat was a member of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Essex, CT, and attended Bible study classes there led by Father Arul Rajan Peter. Pat is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Gerald Kelly. Her brother and sister-in-law, William and Rosaleen Hannon, predeceased her. She is also survived by her nieces Susan, Eileen, and Anne-Marie, by her nephews Gerald, Stephen, Michael, and Daniel, by their spouses, by three grand-nieces and eight grand-nephews, and by some dear friends. Pat was a lady of quiet dignity and altruism, loyal to her family, to her friends, to her Church, to her community, and to her country. She helped support and elevate those around her, and she will be missed. A Prayer Service was held on December 29, 2021 in the chapel of the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook with burial following in the Resurrection Cemetery in Westbrook. To share a memory of Pat or send a condolence to her family please visit