Marcia Lontz Osborn, 88, died peacefully on Jan. 25, while in hospice care in Rock Hill, South Carolina, having been surrounded by her family during the last week of her life.
Ms. Osborn was born in 1931 in Norwalk, Connecticut, to Dudley and Ruth (née Johnson) Lontz, and grew up in Watertown, Massachusetts, and Athens, Ohio. She attended Girls’ Latin School in Boston, Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati and Smith College. After college, she worked for Doubleday as an editor for several years. Ms. Osborn lived in Scarsdale, where she raised her family, and Mason and Peterborough, New Hampshire, where she spoiled her grandchildren. She was most recently a resident of Well-More of Tega Cay, South Carolina. Her marriage to Donald R. Osborn ended in divorce.
Ms. Osborn was an accomplished woman, her family said, and all who knew her were struck by the breadth of her knowledge. She relished designing eclectic gardens, educating people on the Latin names of plants, creating fanciful costumes and gourmet dinners, and writing witty poems for special occasions. Ms. Osborn was known for correcting speakers’ grammar.
She also devoted many hours to volunteer work, from serving on PTAs to working as a docent at the New York Botanical Garden for many years. She was an inveterate traveler, exploring Africa, China, India and South America, as well as Europe.
Ms. Osborn is survived by her children David (Natalia), Judy and Robert (Mia); her grandchildren Suz (Ryan), Emma, Drew (Michele), Peter and Abby; her great-grandson Finn; her younger sister, Patricia; and nieces and nephews.
A memorial gathering will be held on Feb. 29. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Smile Train or the New York Botanical Garden.