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 • Bartlett-Ellendale Cemetery
 • Ellendale
 • Shelby County
 • Tennessee
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Juanita Tyree Osborne
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Birth: Aug. 31, 1916
Death: Aug. 19, 1997

In Juanita Tyree Osborne's books, goodness is a virtue and small-town America is where nice girls live happily every after. Osborne, of Frayser, wrote more than 40 mystery-romance novels in a career than spanned 46 years. Her audience largely was teenagers and young women. "My heroines are decent girls from good families who wouldn't think of using drugs or engaging in sex before marriage," Osborne told The Commercial Appeal in 1980. Osborne, who would have been 81 on Aug. 31, died at 10:12 a.m. Tuesday at her home, two months after learning she had lung cancer. "She was a nonsmoker, and it was a rare form of cancer," said her son, Charles Osborne of Memphis. Osborne's books, with titles like Ashes of Windrow, Shadow Over Wyndham Hall and Dark Season of Aerie were published in her own name. Most followed a basic formula: young girl, murder, romance, happy ending. "She wrote 35 to 40 novels for Avalon Books," said Dale Jagemann, managing editor of the New York City book publishing company. Jagemann said Osborne's books were translated into French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Italian and Finnish. "She wrote many romance novels, mostly gothic novels," Jagemann said. "Audio tapes were made of many of her books." Osborne was born in Irvine, Ky., the daughter of a postmaster and homemaker, and grew up in small towns in the San Joaquin Valley of California. She graduated from Modesto (Calif.) Junior College with a degree in journalism, but marriage followed - to Harry C. Osborne, a grocer, in 1938 - and she spent the next years as wife and mother. The family moved to Memphis in 1944 or 1945, Charles Osborne said. She began writing when her children were small. Her first book, Tornado, sold in 1954 for $500. Osborne later said she was stunned - she'd been writing 20 years, rewarded only with rejection slips, sometimes two a day. But it was the encouragement she needed. Osborne wrote every day from her home office, often rising at 3:30 or 4 a.m., weaving stories in longhand while the sun rose, sometimes listening to the crow of a neighbor's rooster. It wasn't until 1974 that her second book was published. The Shrinking Pond is a mystery in which a young heroine discovers bodies on a lakebed as the lake shrinks during a drought. One of her biggest literary projects was a historical novel about the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis. That book's publisher went broke before the novel was printed and "it's tied up in litigation," Charles Osborne said. "That was what she considered her major work," he said. "But she was still writing as of a few weeks ago." Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, where she was a member for 25 years and active in many church activities, with burial in Bartlett-Ellendale Cemetery. Bartlett Funeral Home-Family Heritage Chapel has charge. She also leaves her husband; two other sons, Gerald 'Jerry' Osborne of Cincinnati and Robert Osborne of Bartlett, a daughter, Linda Rose of Memphis, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. (Published in The Commercial Appeal 8/20/1997) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Harry C. Osborne (1915 - 2001)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Bartlett-Ellendale Cemetery
Ellendale
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA
 
Created by: Carole McCaig
Record added: Jul 09, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 54696014
Juanita <i>Tyree</i> Osborne
Added by: Family Hunter
 
Juanita <i>Tyree</i> Osborne
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