Sam’s Story

In Loving Memory of Sam Osborn

Brilliant, yet never too serious, Sam was magnetic and charming. Often sitting with an arm across his knees as if leaning into this very conversation with you, Sam used his remarkable intellect to bring warmth, humor, and happiness to all. He was an old soul, reliable for sage advice and incredible wit.

Sam was born into his adoring family on April 28, 2005, in Omaha, NE. He was the youngest of four tremendously close siblings.

At 6 months old, Sam’s journey to a diagnosis of congenital muscular dystrophy began. The progressive disease debilitates the body yet leaves the mind intact. As the disease affected him physically, Sam responded by becoming more endearing and unbreakable. He carried a level of courage few ever could. He never resented his disease and instead focused on the opportunities brought to him by being differently abled.

He was expected to live to age 8. He leaves us at age 17, having just finished a spectacular academic year as a junior at Elkhorn South High School. Consistent academic success was important to Sam, as was his mission to beat his siblings in class ranking upon graduation. Sam scored a 34 on his ACT exam, which surpassed his brothers and sisters — a fact he would be glad for you to know and share with friends. He planned to apply his flourishing mind to engineering or architecture in his college studies.

Sam loved video games and sports. He was an encyclopedia of basketball and football knowledge. Having vetoed all trade requests, he will be remembered as a fair but strict commissioner of fantasy football and March Madness leagues. He was a prolific joke-teller and could always make you laugh.

To his loved ones, Sam will also forever hold the titles of Best Catholic, Connect Four Champion, and Mayor of Everytown. Sam received his mayoral appointment at an early age — no matter where he went, he was the most interesting and engaging person. His wheelchair was always surrounded by a crowd, and he had the BEST friends who ALWAYS looked out for him.

Pure of heart and soul, Sam was a devout Catholic, and could claim to have never said a curse word, though he sometimes began spelling them and finished with, “You know the rest.” He took great pleasure in the pickle cards and hijinks at Fish Fry Fridays at church. In his younger years, his family nicknamed him ‘the Pope’ for keeping them on their toes, yet he was the best card player of the bunch.

Will was Sam’s brother closest in age and his partner in all activities. These ‘Irish twins’ had their own language and an impenetrable bond. Sam often called Grace, his fiercely protective sister, his ‘fake mom.’ He sometimes meant it as a compliment. The two always pursued family game nights. On one such night the pair masterminded such violent competition among the family that their mother was provoked to destroy a Catan board to save them all from future ruthlessness. Sam adored Jack, his kind-hearted, oldest brother, who served as a role model and companion on many adventures. However, try as he might — and he did try mightily — Jack could not evolve Sam’s taste in music past disco, rap, and 90’s adult pop, which Sam called the oldies.

With Sam, his family never took a day for granted. In doing so, they enjoyed lifetimes’ worth of experiences in Sam’s 17 years. Profound curiosity and a mantra of ‘Take the Trip’ led Sam and his family to explore the farthest reaches of our world. He loved Disney World in Orlando, his annual Muscular Dystrophy Association Nebraska summer camp, a cruise to Alaska including his best friend Carter Jorth, boat trips with ‘the Brotherhood’ in St. John, and jet skiing with his dad or Andrew in the Ozarks.

His parents imagined countless plans and designed equipment to ensure Sam had full access to every experience and every element of life. God blessed these two parents and their family with Sam, and even gave Sam the perfect ‘bonus dad’ in Andrew, and ‘thank God second-mother’ in Laura Falcone, his mom’s best friend. Every day, Sam and his expansive tribe lived life fully.

Sam illuminated a more fulfilling way to approach life. Facing tremendous challenges, he chose to push beyond them. He never let his physical condition limit his spirit or capacity for kindness. As his body grew more fragile, Sam became a greater source of strength and positivity that brightened the lives of those around him.

Sam’s loved ones cannot imagine being so strong as they were with him. Yet, they must. As Sam always said, “There is no try, there is only do.” He was a Yoda to so many. His endless care for others, his positive outlook, and his dedication to putting others first are testament to the beauty of God’s creation in His image. He was perfectly and wonderfully made.

Know that Sam had unwavering Faith and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Remember that every moment presents a choice to decide how we can live and support one another. Let Sam influence your choices. Take solace in knowing he is Home, watching over you with that familiar, loving smile.

We are beyond grateful for every minute Sam was here.


Samuel Marcus Osborn of Elkhorn passed away peacefully at Children’s Hospital of Omaha on June 1, 2022, surrounded by his family.

He is survived by his father, Mark Osborn; his mother, Nicole Osborn and her husband, Andrew Kimball; his siblings, James ‘Jack’ Osborn, Grace Osborn, and William Osborn; his grandmother, Mary Allen [all preceding of Elkhorn, NE]; his grandmother, Joyce Osborn of Treynor, IA; his uncle, Mike Osborn and his wife, Kay, of Los Angeles, CA; his aunt, Michelle Osborn of Treynor, IA; as well as many cousins, extended family members, countless friends, and two dogs whose hearts ache for their boy. He is preceded in death by his grandfather, David Allen of Elkhorn, NE; his grandfather, Ken Osborn of Treynor, IA; and many great-grandparents who all cherished him deeply.