Winton B. Osborne, 68, Harford legislator, company founder


Services for Winton B. Osborne, a former Harford County legislator and founder of Harford Sod and Excavating Co. Inc., will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at his farm, 1914 Rock Spring Road in Forest Hill.

Mr. Osborne, who was 68, apparently drowned Monday in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. It was believed he slipped off a ladder from his 52-foot Hatteras motor yacht, Prime Time, which was docked there.

A lifelong resident of Forest Hill, he had established the sod and excavating company in 1955 and closed the business in 1994.

He was active for many years as a contractor and land developer. His residential development projects included Meadow Stream near Norrisville and Forest Lakes in Forest Hill.

Active in Democratic politics, Mr. Osborne served in the House of Delegates from 1966 to 1970, and lost a bid in 1972 for a seat on the new Harford County Council.

"He was a very strong and outspoken advocate for Harford County and small business," said Arthur H. Helton of Churchville, a friend of 30 years who served in the Maryland Senate.

"He was also a tireless volunteer, especially with the Bel Air Jaycees. He was always donating materials and equipment for projects around Bel Air. He was a giving guy of both his time and talent."

Mr. Osborne was born, and lived his entire life, in the 19th-century clapboard farmhouse that had belonged to his father, a dairy farmer. He graduated from Bel Air High School in 1946 and Baltimore Business College in 1948.

He had been a board member of the old Equitable Trust Co. and was a member of the Maryland Speakers Society, Bel Air Jaycees, Harford County Chamber of Commerce, Harford County Election Board, Harford County Contractors Association, Harford County Homebuilders and Centre United Methodist Church in Forest Hill.

Mr. Osborne was fond of boating and enjoyed cruising on the Chesapeake Bay aboard the Prime Time. He also enjoyed collecting and driving classic automobiles, and had nine vintage motorcars including a Rolls-Royce convertible, a Zimmer, two Mercedes autos, a Jaguar and a Corvette.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, the former Rose Ella Hughes; four daughters, Linda Gail Stoltz of Forest Hill, Deborah Jean Jennings of Perryman, Patricia Ann Newman of Glen Arm and Diane Cheryl Osborne of Arlington, Texas; two brothers, Joseph B. Osborne of Bel Air and William Osborne of Vero Beach, Fla.; three sisters, Mary Harkins of Forest Hill, Ruth Guttery of Alton, Kan., and Maybelle Smith of Bealton, Va.; and TTC two grandchildren.

Pub date: 5/31/98

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