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Lila Mae (Saltzman) Osborne

Lila Mae (Saltzman) Osborne, 88, of Wichita, passed away peacefully at home on July 6, 2024. She was born on August 14, 1935, in Milford, NE to Edward and Alice (Schweitzer) Saltzman. She was the youngest of 8 children and told everyone that God practiced first with her 7 siblings and saved the best for last. She attended school in Milford, NE and then finished high school at Hesston Academy in Hesston, KS in 1955 where she met Conrad Osborne. They were married June 4, 1957.

She did not attend college initially, working instead as a bookkeeper in Hesston, Goshen IN, Kansas City, and Topeka to support Conrad through medical school. They landed in Wichita for Con’s medical residency where they remained the rest of their lives.

She attended Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church in Wichita and was a faithful congregant, singing in the choir, serving on and chairing the Board of Deacons, and volunteering in the church office where she put her bookkeeping skills to good use. After their three children were in school, she began to volunteer at the schools and at various non-profits.

In 1980, she returned to school and began taking classes at WSU as a non-traditional student. She took classes over the years, eventually earning her BSW.

As a child, she sang with her family and taught herself how to play the piano. She continued singing throughout the years and took private voice and piano lessons as an adult. She sang in the church choir and smaller ensembles and joined the Wichita Symphony Chorus for several years. Even after retiring from the church choir in later life, she continued to sing hymns during church with a passion, easily adding high obligato parts as she felt led.

After Conrad’s death in 1993, she continued to sing, work part-time at InnerWorks, and volunteer at Trees For Life.  She truly enjoyed her “grands” as they began appearing -- first the grand dogs, and then the grandchildren. Her zest for life, her joy of music, and her quick wit continued even as dementia began to steal her mind.

She is survived by her sisters, Erna Saltzman and Detta Saltzman, both of Hesston; her son Craig (Deanna) of Quincy, CA, and daughters Jan Osborne and Jill (Kevin) Bell, both of Wichita; and grandchildren Noah, Joshua, Samantha, Katie, and Julia.

She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, brothers and sisters-in-law Clinton and Doris Saltzman, Sterling and Ina Saltzman, Glen and Donna Saltzman, Edward and Leona Saltzman, and sister and brother-in-law Grace and Eugene Rediger.

A memorial service will be held August 24, 2024 at 11 a.m. at Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church. Memorials may be made to Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church or to the Kansas Food Bank.

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