Clarence Melford “Poochie” Osborne died July, 3, 2019 after a brief illness. He is now in the presence of his Heavenly Father, and members of his dearly departed family.
Clarence was born to the late Clarence Roy and Vedell Adkins Osborne on November 26, 1940 in Marks. He was the middle of three siblings, including older (Bonnie) and younger (Sylvia) sisters. He often told stories of his early life in Marks with his family. He enjoyed the typical activities of a young boy in the Mississippi Delta, during the post WWII era, including riding his bicycle and playing baseball. He was particularly fond of his memories of being a Boy Scout.
Clarence moved at age 12 with his family to Bentonia and later attended Anding High School. He was a member of the football team as a receiver, which his 6’3”, 200 lb. frame made him well suited for this position. While at Anding, he met and later married Anne Murphy, also of Bentonia. They were married in 1961 and enjoyed a long and happy marriage until Anne’s death in 2015.
Sometime during his early life in Bentonia, Clarence acquired the nickname “Poochie”. The source of this unique moniker has yet to be determined even though he inquired his friends relentlessly as who was the culprit, none would admit. Even though Clarence was not particularly fond of this name, he tolerated it since its use seemed to give those saying it much satisfaction and jest.
Clarence attended Hinds Junior College and Mississippi State University with plans on becoming an engineer; however, he was torn between this dream and the significant need to help his father maintain the family business. Clarence returned home to become a partner in his father’s business which thrived for over 65 years. He and Anne raised two sons, James Randall (Randy) Osborne and Clarence Michael (Mike) Osborne in a very happy, and busy work environment centered around the family’s tire/service station/grocery business. Clarence assumed the family’s business, then along with his son Randy, continued its growth until Randy’s death in 2006.
He continued with the business until his retirement in 2018. The store became an icon of the local community and Yazoo County. Clarence, and those associated with the business, became a source of assistance to many, and was always available to anyone in need of physical and often financial assistance.
He will be truly missed by many. Clarence encountered innumerable people, both as customers and friends, over his lifetime and was friends with people of many walks of life. He had an exceptional ability to make associations and was known as the resident genealogist of the area. He could recall multiple generations of family relationships throughout the county, and was known for his quick, dry wit in addition to his congeniality.
He was very gifted in mathematics and was well suited to pursue his engineering dream; however, family obligations prevailed, and he never regretted his decision. His mathematical abilities were passed to his sons and grandchildren who have since achieved success in medicine, aviation, engineering, and nursing.
He was always proud of these accomplishments and was always supportive of their pursuit of these professions. He was loving, grateful, proud and optimistic until the end.
Clarence was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence Roy and Vedell Osborne; his wife, Anne Murphy Osborne; son, James Randall Osborne; and sister, Sylvia Temple.
He is survived by his son, Dr. Clarence Michael Osborne (Suzanne) of Madison; sister, Bonnie J. Watkins (Stan) of Gulfport; six grandchildren: Brittney Tichenor (Justin) of Flora, Brady Osborne (Beth) of Madison, Charle Osborne (Jake) of Flora, Carter Osborne (Anna Grace) of Clinton; Will Osborne of Madison, Logan Osborne of Madison. and three great-grandchildren: Norah Tichenor, James Reid Tichenor, and Charlotte Beck.
Funeral services were July 6 at Bentonia Baptist Church. Burial followed at Mount Olivet Cemetery under the direction of Stricklin-King Funeral Home.