Frederick C. Osing Jr.

Longtime Ellicott City Resident And Veteran Taught Social Studies And English In Baltimore County Public Schools

July 14, 2009|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

Frederick Conrad Osing Jr., a longtime Baltimore County public school educator and World War II veteran, died of heart failure July 4 at the Riderwood Village Retirement Center in Silver Spring. The former Ellicott City resident was 84.

Mr. Osing was born in Baltimore and raised on Calverton Heights Avenue. After graduating from City College in 1943, he enlisted in the Army and served with the Signal Corps in the Philippines.

At war's end, he returned to Baltimore and enrolled at Western Maryland College where he earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1948, and a master's degree in education from the Johns Hopkins University in 1953.

Mr. Osing began teaching English and social studies in 1948 at Johnnycake Junior High School in Westview, and was later promoted to department chair.

He spent the last three years of his career teaching at Catonsville High School, where he was also department chair.

"Fred was a most outstanding teacher, he was fair but demanded respect," said Polly Howard, a longtime friend who was chairman of the department of home economics at Johnnycake Junior High.

"He was a popular teacher and the students respected him and they learned. Also, you never saw any shenanigans in his classroom," said Mrs. Howard, who was co-chair with Mr. Osing of the school's social committee that planned schoolwide social functions.

"His classroom was formal but Fred's students were willing to learn. They kept their brains open and were very receptive. He loved his work," she said.

Mr. Osing's daily routine was to arrive at school early and stay late.

"He was such a friendly man and if a student needed extra help, he was there to help them," Mrs. Howard recalled.

Michael P. Kennedy, an English and social studies teacher whose office was next door to Mr. Osing's at Johnnycake Junior High during the 1960s, was an old friend.

"Fred was a very fine department chair and teacher. And as an English teacher, he was a stickler on grammar," Mr. Kennedy said.

"He seemed very strait-laced to look at him, but Fred had a great sense of humor, was low-key and always had a lot going on," he said.

"I don't think his students quite knew what he was about until years later when they came back from college to thank him for what he had done for them, and then his popularity really soared," Mr. Kennedy said.

Mr. Osing retired in 1984.

"He was a kind and gentle man who loved English and grammar and would often times correct the newscaster or other grammar he would hear on TV," said a daughter, Carol Good of Ellicott City.

Mr. Osing, who moved to the retirement community four years ago, enjoyed playing the piano and was an accomplished painter of land and seascapes. He also liked playing bridge, traveling and attending concerts of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

He was a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church of America in Ellicott City, where a memorial service was held July 8.

Also surviving is his wife of 61 years, the former Marion Ottilie Beck, a retired math teacher; a son, George Osing of Ellicott City; two other daughters, Janet Weber of Arlington, Va., and Laura Robinson of Brattleboro, Vt.; a brother, Robert Osing of Ellicott City; 10 grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

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