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Former Halifax mayor dies at 66

The community of Halifax is mourning the death of former Town Mayor Dennis Osborne who passed away Monday in Duke Regional Hospital in Durham, N. C. from complications from a spinal injury.

He was 66.

Osborne came to the mayorship after being appointed May 4, 1992 to fill the unexpired term of William McClennan who died March 23, 1992.

Osborne would serve in that capacity until August 2002 winning election two successive terms.

During his tenure as mayor, he signed a resolution for a joint planning grant that would enable improvements to be made to downtown Halifax.

“Mayor Osborne had foresight for the Town of Halifax, and he worked with the county on securing funds for the downtown revitalization project. I want to say thank you to Mayor Osborne for always having the Town of Halifax in your heart and supporting our town. For his service rendered to the Town of Halifax he will greatly be missed in our community. I will always remember his help and support of me,” said current Mayor Dick Moore.

Councilman Bill Confroy said he knew Osborne, not only as friend, but professionally as mayor and a former banker.

“He was a real gentleman and good man, and we are dearly going to miss him,” Confroy said.

Halifax Vice Mayor Jack Dunavant remembered Osborne for “stepping up to the plate at a time when there was political turmoil in the Town of Halifax and serving admirably as mayor during his tenure.”

“He was presiding mayor during a time when the Town of Halifax was looking to the future as far as business and public infrastructure improvement. I’ve always known him to be a warm, considerate and gentle person,” Town Manager Carl Espy said.

He spent his formative years in Lynchburg attending E. C. Glass High School and Lynchburg College.

He enjoyed a career in banking starting with Fidelity National Bank, and then working at First Federal Savings and Loan that merged with BB&T. He retired as vice president from BB&T with more than 25 years of service.

In addition to serving as Halifax mayor, Osborne was a member of the Lions Club of Halifax, Sportsman’s Club and the Halifax Country Club. 

He also was a long-time member of St. John’s Episcopal Church where he served on the vestry.

The former mayor was an avid photographer, a NASCAR fan, followed ACC basketball and enjoyed antique car shows. He also enjoyed feeding and identifying birds.

Osborne was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Ann Osborne, and his son, Cabell Osborne.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Mary Archer Booker Osborne, of Halifax, his brother, Doug Osborne, and wife Sue of Pawley’s Island, S. C., and his son, Jamey Osborne, of Fancy Gap.

 A funeral service will be held Friday at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church with burial to follow in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, consider donations to St. John’s Episcopal Church Cemetery Fund. 

 Funeral arrangements are by Powell Funeral Home.