I noted with regret the recent passing of retired Navy Adm. Oakley Osborn, a true officer and a gentleman.

Osborn’s naval career was exemplary and varied, as shown by his steady rise through the ranks, holding billets of increasing responsibility. It is not often that an officer who begins his career as a lowly aviation officer cadet, instead of a Naval Academy graduate, is rewarded with two stars.

His obituary rightly mentioned many of Oak’s contributions to the defense of our country and his community service. One contribution not mentioned, however, was his decades of service as a stalwart member of the Winthrop Lions Club. I had the honor of serving in the club with Oak before I relocated to Florida. He was an enthusiastic participant in all club service projects, especially at the club’s hot dog wagon, which feeds Winthrop’s football fans during home games.

Oak used to kid me mercilessly about my own service as an officer in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) office, referring to me as a “sea lawyer,” an unflattering term reserved for non-lawyer naval personnel who nonetheless fancy themselves as learned in the law.

I would retort that naval aviators, on the whole, were ill-behaved egomaniacs, and often reminisced that I had on one occasion pleaded unsuccessfully with the Virginia Beach police not to arrest two youthful fighter pilots who attempted to race their cars down Virginia Beach Boulevard — backwards, at 1 a.m.

Robert Fuller

Atlantic Beach, Fla.

Seasonally, of Winthrop

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: