“I have a great deal of respect for all he’s done over the years,” Selectman Bill Clark said. “He’s the epitome of volunteers in town.”
Osgood said he is honored but somewhat embarrassed by all the fuss.
“I don’t try to pat myself on the back,” said Osgood, who lives with his wife of 57 years, Josephine, in an apartment at the Danvers Housing Authority’s Tapley Manor. He commended his wife for putting up with his volunteer work all these years, as he has missed a lot of time with his family. He and his wife have three daughters; their son, David, died at age 49. They also have five grandchildren and two great-grandsons.
In 2008, Osgood survived a punishing battle for election after he moved from Precinct 2 to Precinct 7. The race was punishing not only because he had to run as an outsider in a new precinct, but because he sat outside the polling place at Danvers High all day in the sun, earning himself not only the right to his 50th year as a Town Meeting member, but “a terrible sunburn.”
He topped the ticket that year.
Osgood, who graduated with the Class of 1948 at the former Holten High, worked at the John and Henry Tutko Farm during World War II and later attended the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, earning an associate’s degree in horticulture. He worked as the caretaker for the Pingree Estate in Hamilton, then for the wholesale florist market in Boston. He also spent eight years in the Navy Reserve, serving as a torpedoman on the Sea Wolf, which was stationed at Pickering Wharf in Salem.
He then went to work for the town and began a 30-year career as a firefighter.
So, why did he run for Town Meeting?