JEAN BRADLEY ASHBERY OSBORN
Jean Bradley Ashbery Osborn, 86, who lived nearly all of her life near the shores of Cayuga Lake, died at home, 36 Strowbridge Street, Trumansburg, New York, on Wednesday, January 22, 2003.
Jean was born on February 11, 1916 in Interlaken, New York, to Jay B. and
Nelle Symonds Bradley. She attended public schools in Interlaken and spent childhood
summers with her family at their cottage at Interlaken Beach. Jean entered Cornell
in 1933, where she immediately became active in the TriDelt sorority and in
the drama department, playing Alice in its production of "Alice in Wonderland."
She graduated from Cornell in 1937, and married Cornellian Ray Stephens Ashbery
in September that same year in Sage Chapel. The couple then moved to 40 Whig
Street, Trumansburg, which was to be her home for the next forty years.
In 1941, Jean and Ray, together with their lifelong friends Ruth and Jack Shaw, purchased a beautiful stretch of property along Cayuga Lake just east of Trumansburg. This rustic retreat, known as Hog Back Gully, was Jean's "favorite spot in the world" and the geographic center of her spiritual life for the rest of her days. Jean and Ray were extremely active in the civic life of Trumansburg and Tompkins County. In addition to raising their three children, Jean served as President of the Trumansburg Central School P.T.A., Cornell Class of '37 Alumni Fund Chair, TriDelt Alumni Advisor, and was a member of the Taughannock Garden Club, the Ulysses Historical Society, the Republican Women's Committee and the First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses. She climbed the Connecticut Hill tower during WWII to keep a sharp eye out for Nazi bombers, and in the 1960's, joined the fight against the nuclear power plant that was once envisioned to replace the smaller conventional operation at Milliken Point. During these same years, her husband, Ray, an attorney, served as Mayor of Trumansburg and as a seven-term State Assemblyman. Jean loved to swim, and did so every summer of her life in the chilly waters of Cayuga Lake. She was a devotee of mystery novels and bridge, and shot a mean game of pool.
After Ray died in 1974, Jean moved to Ithaca. She lived there until 1987, when she married another Cornellian from the class of 1937, Donald C. Osborn. Jean and Don spent their winters in Harlingen, Texas, and their summers at the Hog Back cottage. Don Osborn died in 1998. Jean is survived by sisters Margaret Klauss and Eleanor Tunison; children Sarah (Sally) Ashbery Baines of Trumansburg and husband John, James (Jim) Ashbery and wife Rosalie, of Johnson City, NY, and Ann Ashbery and husband Russ Powell, of Chevy Chase MD. "Jeanie" also left behind her grandchildren Elizabeth Hummell, of Philadelphia, PA, Stephen Ashbery, of Bloomington, MN, and Jessica and Louisa Powell of Chevy Chase; great-grandchildren Katelyn, Alaura and Ayeden Ashbery and Charlotte Rose Hummell; her niece, Nancy DeMarte, and four nephews. Jean departed life with quiet courage, and in the loving embrace of the family that will miss her so deeply.
A memorial service, officiated by the Rev. Jeffrey S. Kellam, will be held
on Saturday, February 8, 2003 at 3:00 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church
of Ulysses in Trumansburg. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial
donations be made to Hospicare, 172 East King Road, Ithaca, New York 14850,
or to the charity of one's choice.
Additional information may be obtained by calling the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South Street, Trumansburg at 1-888-534-5446.
Page Submitted By: Joseph L. Sibley, Director