Douglas W. Osmond
1957 – 2020
Douglas W. Osmond passed away November 24 at The Landing at Saco Bay Assisted Living Center in Saco, Maine. Douglas had been living at The Landing for several years while under care for FrontoTemporal BhV. Dementia.
Born in Malden, Massachusetts to Robert W. Osmond and Patricia W. Osmond, Doug climbed out of his crib at 10 months old and kept right on exploring the world with his career and wanderlust leading him throughout Asia and Africa.
Doug was an Eagle Scout and as a teenager became fascinated with emergency medical and human relief services. Following graduation from Wilbraham-Monson Academy in 1975, he enlisted with the United States Navy as a Medical Corpsman and by 17 1/2 years old was stationed in Japan working in a Naval Hospital maternity ward. The following year he was serving on the USS White Plains as the ship patrolled the South China Sea rescuing Vietnamese boat people fleeing from persecution in the newly unified Vietnam. This was the beginning of a lifetime career working for refugee relief services around the world.
Using the GI Bill, Doug graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts (BS, Business) with his extracurricular fun being Captain of the University Student Fire and Rescue Squad. Immediately after graduating he joined the Peace Corp and was assigned to rural areas of Kenya helping women develop small businesses. Little did anyone know at the time, but this was the start of a lifetime love affair with the people and cultures of East Africa.
Following an extensive year-long solo journey throughout Sub–Saharanand Africa, Doug graduated from Columbia University’s Business Graduate School. Shortly after graduation, Doug joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and returned to East Africa with an assignment in Blantyre, Malawi. This was followed by a career of assignments throughout Africa including Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.Doug’s long career in Africa was punctuated with positions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Iraq, and the Balkans. Wherever there were refugees in need of food, shelter and medicine, Doug was there with his compassion for those in need and expertise in emergency supply logistics.
At the completion of his distinguished 25-year career with UNHCR, Doug retired in 2013 with the idea to live out his life in Nairobi. Unfortunately, this was not to be. Doug was tragically overtaken with FrontoTemporal Dementia. He returned to the USA for care in 2015.
While precise statistics are not available, it would be fair to say that during Doug’s long career in emergency medical and refugee services that he was directly involved in helping save the lives of tens of thousands of people. Through his lifetime of dedication, belief and commitment to his mission, Doug represented the best of America to the world and will be remembered by many people around the world for many years to come.
Douglas was predeceased by his father, Robert Osmond. Douglas is survived by his mother, Patricia Osmond; sister Jennifer Clair and husband James; brother Edward Osmond; nieces, Allison Dziurzynski and husband Darian; and Andrea Clair. As well as many friends from Wilbraham school days, Boy Scouts, US Navy, UMASS, the Peace Corp and UNHCR.
Douglas’ family would like to thank Hospice of Southern Maine for their support and help during the last several months, the companions from Aging Excellence and a huge hug of appreciation to the staff of The Landing at Saco Bay for recognizing Doug’s essential sweetness and providing compassionate loving care for Douglas and our family.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no services held.
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