Mother Julia Marie Smith Osborne
The school day consists of periods or blocks of time allocated for lessons or classes. The quality and duration of these periods are established by educators who also oversee the utilization of each period . . . what is taught. The school bell symbolizes the markings of the beginning and end of the school day, class periods, and breaks.
Today, we celebrate the ringing of “Mother Julia Osborne’s” LAST BELL, the End of Her Earthly School Day, for on the afternoon of April 29, 2023, God stood at the Heavenly Classroom Doorway. The Final Period was taught, no more lessons on this side, and He rang the “Final Bell” for his Faithful servant, and
Mother Julia Marie Smith Osborne was dismissed to her celestial day’s end.
To Mother Julia Smith Osborne, the entire world was a schoolroom. An expressive, optimistic, and uninhibited individual, she was a teacher in the classroom of life. To everyone around her, she seemed to be undeniably happy, and she willingly shared that joy with anyone whose life she touched. For “Mother Osborne,” bringing out the best in people, notably her students and any situation, was as easy as offering a point of wisdom (teaching them) or a candid remark (educating them), as well as making an impact every day.
Mother Julia Smith Osborne mastered the art of imparting knowledge and had great fun in so doing. From big moments that shifted the trajectory of the lives of others to small occurrences, Mother Osborne made her students feel safe, challenged yet appreciated, and ready to learn. With those simple gestures, she could evoke the sincerest arrays of emotion, from laughter to amazement. She was the teacher everyone needed.
Mrs. Osborne, as she was affectionally called, started life’s school day one beautiful autumn afternoon when the leaves were falling under the reflected light of the kaleidoscopic sun shining over the school building as the students played in the schoolyard creating a picturesque scene. At that moment, God introduced her to the world and spoke to her, saying, “Come in and Have a Seat”. At the signal of the bell ringing, she took her proper position at the desk of life, ready to learn from the ultimate teacher while also embracing her calling as an educator who would influence the lives of many.
As she prepared for the day, the Lord rang the Homeroom bell. “Mrs. Osborne” assumed her position to begin her day’s work. As the bell would ring, she readied herself for the tasks ahead, imparting knowledge, demonstrating lessons, and working diligently. As classes exchanged, she continued to instruct her students, mentor her colleagues, and impact the lives of her friends and family. With each ring of the bell, Mrs. Osborne devoted herself to her work, leaving a lasting impression on those she encountered.
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11
Mother Julia Marie Smith Osborne
Homeroom Bell -- That preparatory period that occurred in a religiously splendid way as this Christian woman, with an undying faith in the teachings of the Bible and a belief in the highest good that could be achieved by prayer as taught by her father and mother, invested her talents in the schoolhouse of God's church.
“Mother Julia Smith Osborne was born November 23, 1942, to the union of the late Felder and Lucy Broom Smith of Delhi, Louisiana. She was the sixth of eight children, having four brothers and three sisters.
Preceding her in death were four brothers, Johncie Broom, Felder Smith, Sr., Edward Smith, Sr., and Freddie Ray Smith; and two sisters, Ruth Broom St. Cyr and Yvonne (Joe) Smith Bender.
She leaves one sister, Clara Smith Gilbert, and eight sisters-in-love, Joann Prelow Smith and Virginia Smith, both of Delhi, Louisiana; Dora Smith of Las Vegas, Nevada; Ellen Goggins Akron, Ohio; Sofronia Carr, Dr. Elnora Montgomery, and Ruth Osborne of Grambling, Louisiana; Beattie (Carl) Street of Arcadia, Louisiana; and Betty Osborne of Dallas, Texas to cherish her unforgettable memories.
She was united in the bonds of Holy Matrimony with Brother Moses Osborne, her spouse of 56 years, on June 22, 1964. Together they shared a love of family.
Mother Osborne was the mother of four wonderful sons: Lincoln “Fitzgerald” Osborne and Kelvin Kenneth Osborne, both of Dallas, Texas; Moses R. (Judy) Osborne of University City, Missouri; and Robert R. Green of Grambling, Louisiana; one amazing daughter, Karen K. Roberson of Dallas, Texas; one son-in-love, Ronald Roberson; two brilliant granddaughters, Brittany Roberson of Washington, DC and LaShunda Melton of Houston, Texas; one favorite grandson, Keilan Roberson, three outstanding great-grandsons, LaCameron, Kammeron, and Xavier Melton of Houston, Texas; remarkable nieces, Brenda Armstrong, Patricia Smith Levels, and Dr. Rochelle (Sean) Gilbert-Abram, all of Monroe, Louisiana; Sarai Baylor of Carson, California; Niki Brass and Robyn Taylor both of Las Vegas, Nevada; Jacqueline Denise Smith of Houston, Texas; and extraordinary nephews, Daryl Smith of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Anthony Ray Smith and Kenneth Wayne Smith both of Delhi, Louisiana; Sylvester St. Cyr of Las Vegas, Nevada, Vernon Smith and Edward Smith, Jr. both of Houston, Texas.
She also leaves to celebrate her earthly pilgrimage and, now, her retirement from earthly teaching, a host of cousins, students, and friends.
First Period -- The early morning period that begins the lessons of the school day. This is the time when students begin their academic activities and engage in structured lessons with their teachers. It sets the tone for the rest of the day.
From a young age, "Mrs. Osborne" learned that if you put God first, everything else would fall into place. Mother Osborne united with a band of Christian believers at Belleview Baptist Church, Delhi, LA, and was baptized by Rev. C. W. Allen and remained a faithful member for over 70 years, retaining membership until her transition. During her dedicated involvement with the church, she assumed the roles of Church Secretary, Sunday School Teacher, and Mother, actively contributing to the church's operations and nurturing its members.
Second Period -- The period that serves to be a crucial part of the daily learning experience. Students are expected to be engaged and attentive during this period, as the information they learn during this time will form the foundation for their academic success.
“Mrs. Osborne”, Mrs. Osborne completed her primary and secondary education in Franklin Parish School District, progressing through her elementary and high school years before graduating from Waverly High School in 1960. She then went on to pursue her academic aspirations at Grambling State University, where she earned a degree in Elementary Education. After her studies, she was equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to embark on her career in education.
Mrs. Osborne started her teaching career at Oak Grove Elementary School in Oak Grove, LA. Later on, she also taught at Central Elementary School and Winnsboro Lower Elementary, both located in Winnsboro, Louisiana. In addition, she shared her teaching talents with the students of Crowville Elementary in Crowville, Louisiana. Her dedication to education and her willingness to serve at multiple schools throughout her career is a testament to her passion for teaching and the positive impact she had on the lives of her students.
Mrs. Osborne's love for teaching kept her firmly rooted in Franklin Parish Schools for over four decades until her retirement on May 21, 2005. Retirement did not signal an end to her career in education, as she continued to serve as a substitute teacher and volunteer for several years. She was committed to using her expertise and experience to benefit the next generation of students. Her dedication and commitment to education and the well-being of her students is truly admirable. She continued to give back to her community even after retiring, and her devotion serves as an inspiration to all who knew her. She stopped substituting when her health no longer permitted her to do so, but her legacy lives on in the countless students whose lives she impacted throughout her career.
Mother Osborne was committed to providing the youth in her community with the resources and teachings they needed to succeed. To this end, she generously donated her time, as well as supplies and resources, to Belleview Baptist Church to help the youth expand their knowledge. Every year, she also sponsored Easter baskets for the children in the community, bringing smiles to their faces and joy to their hearts as they received baskets filled with candy, fruit, nuts, and, most importantly, love. Her generosity and selflessness have undoubtedly made a positive impact on the lives of countless children in her community, and her legacy of giving will continue to inspire others to make a difference in the lives of those around them.
Third Period – The period when school is close to the end of the day. During this time, students may engage in activities such as completing any remaining assignments, reviewing lessons from earlier in the day, organizing materials, and packing their bags. Schools schedule extracurricular activities during this time. This period is an important part of the daily learning experience as it allows students to reflect on their day, reinforce the knowledge they have gained, and prepare for the next day of learning.
In 2020, Mother Osborne relocated to Monroe, Louisiana, and began residing at Azalea Assisted Living. While there, she made numerous friends and endeared herself to many in the community. She remained at Azalea Assisted Living until 2022, when she made the decision to move closer to her children. Over the past year, she has enjoyed the hospitality of Dallas, where she has been living as a resident teacher in her daughter's home, as well as neighborhood educator for the employees of Friends Place, Villages of Lake Highland, and the YMCA. During this time, she has continued to share her wisdom and love for learning with everyone she has encountered through conversations and heartfelt advice. One of the highlights of her time in Dallas, Texas, has been Facetiming with her grandchildren and sister, as well as the occasional appointments at the hair salon, where she has continued to regale those around her with her captivating stories and life lessons.
Last Period -- The period is referred to as the dismissal, the end of the day. This marks the end of the daily learning experience. . . the departure . . . the release . . . the transition back to their homes.
On April 29, 2023, Mother Julia Smith Osborne passed away, transcending the earthly schoolhouse and ascending into the heavenly hallways as God sounded the FINAL BELL. Her life will leave an indelible imprint as a legacy for years to come - vividly, vibrantly, and invigoratingly, as a woman who stood tall in the annals of her time. Though she has left this earthly plane, her spirit will continue to live on in the hearts and minds of those whose lives she touched. She will be remembered for her unwavering dedication to education, her love for teaching, and her passion for serving others. Her influence will continue to impact the lives of those she taught, mentored, and loved, and her memory will live on as an inspiration to all who knew her. The impact of her work as an educator and mentor will be felt for generations to come, and her memory will be cherished by all who knew her.
FINAL Bell . . .
"... For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous, judge. shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. “
II Timothy 4:5-9