meta Canadian Master Breeder Earl Osborne dies at the age of 91 :: The Bullvine - The Dairy Information You Want To Know When You Need It

Canadian Master Breeder Earl Osborne dies at the age of 91

It’s with great sadness we share the passing of Master Breeder Earl Osborne.  The Bullvine’s Murray Hunt shares the following comments: 

“I had the great priviledge to work with Earl during his time as Holstein Canada President and Director. Earl brought common sense, wisdom, kindness and vision to everything he did as a director of numerous organizations and in his community outreach efforts, of which there were many. I still marvel at how he was able to grasp and excel at each new task and initiaitve he encountered. To his family, who he loved and valued greatly, I express the condolences from my family and wish that you know that the world has lost a truly great human being. May God Bless You All.”

Robert “Earl” Osborne, formerly of Ripley, died March 28, 2020, at the age of 91.

Mourning his loss are his wife, Marion; her family, and Earl’s six children: Kathryn (John Mounstephen), Steven (Linda), Janice (Frank Stokman), John (Susan), Vern (Ornella), and Shirley (Rudy Fiebiger); and sister-in-law Margaret Osborne.

He will be missed by his grandchildren, Ryan (Corryn) Mounstephen, Blake (Nadia) Mounstephen, Stacey (Mike Duffield), Jennifer (Gray Mackenzie), Adam Osborne (Sarah), Jessica (Jae Fortier), Deirdre (Scott Maidens), Caitrin (Stephen Le Roux), Brie (Alex Lam), Courtland Osborne (Katie), Spencer Osborne, Alex Osborne (Jess Taylor), Natalie and Alaina Osborne, Matthew (Cindy) Fiebiger, and Andrew (Jacq) Fiebiger; and 26 great grandchildren.

Earl is predeceased by his beloved first wife, Barbara Ann; parents, Russell and Elizabeth; brother, Carman; and dearly loved grandson, Michael Fiebiger.

Born June 24, 1928, Earl grew up in Ripley, moving with his family to a farm just outside of Guelph as a young man. He met and married the first love of his life, Barbara Ann (Radford), and together they raised six children and operated a master breeder herd dairy farm.

They hosted local and international visitors and travelled extensively when Earl served as president of Holstein Canada. Earl was invited to share his knowledge in China, South America, Mexico, the United States, and across Canada. He served for several years as an official judge for Holstein Canada and served on various milk committees for Wellington County and the Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

Earl enjoyed friendships in the tractor-pulling circuit and volunteered at local agricultural fairs. He was a devoted member of the Stone United Church, where he served as an elder and sang in the choir for many years. Earl and Barbara had a wide circle of friends and were known as gracious hosts, devoted parents and active members of their farming and local community in Eramosa Township.

After Barbara’s untimely death in 1994, Earl was blessed to find happiness again, with the second love of his life, Marion (Neilson, nee Leslie), and they were married in 1996.

Earl and his children welcomed Marion and her family with open arms, including her three daughters, Cynthia (Greg Howell), Marilyn (Stephen Boehm), the late Joyce; grandchildren, Lauren (Evan), Rae Brynn (Jonathan), Emily (Ben), Hannah (Kurtis), Eric, Jessie; and one great-grandson.

The newly-blended family will miss him dearly. Earl was very proud of his family, and his legacy will live on in their memories.

Arrangements entrusted to the Wall-Custance Funeral Home and Chapel, Guelph, 519-822-0051 or

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the interment will be held in a private service at Woodlawn Cemetery, Guelph.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

A tree will be planted in memory of Earl in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest, University of Guelph Arboretum. Dedication service, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, at 2:30 p.m.

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