LAKE STEVENS — The memory of a young teacher lives on at Sunnycrest Elementary School, in the soft petals of yellow roses and the comfort of a cushy chair.
Kelsey Osborne died in July 2017 from complications after a routine surgery. She was just two months from turning 30.
She left behind a fiance, family and a classroom of first-graders.
“Kelsey was just one of those truly remarkable, tender, kind, just amazing humans,” said Tim Haines, who was Osborne’s principal. “So that just added to the shock and unexpectedness of what happened.”
After the death, the staff at Sunnycrest rallied to help Osborne’s parents, Mike and Diana Osborne, and her fiance, Kevin Lynch. Several canceled summer plans to provide food and labor for the memorial service. They delivered meals to Lynch for weeks afterward. And they looked for ways to honor their colleague’s memory.
The Kelsey Osborne Memorial Garden is now planted outside of Room 12. It includes her favorite yellow roses and purple lavender. A bench is engraved with her name.
Indoors, there is a Kelsey’s Korner of the library, featuring all the books she encouraged her kindergarten and first-grade students to read.
Mike Osborne, Kelsey’s father, said the family was blown away by the gestures.
“We’re just overwhelmed with what they’ve done,” he said.
Kelsey Osborne was described as compassionate and patient. Animals, from stick bugs to dogs, experienced her care over the years. She enjoyed spending time with her fiance, as well as watching “Judge Judy” and “Dateline,” eating sushi, collecting Minions, golfing and making lists, according to her obituary.
And she was “a born teacher,” according to those who knew her.
The 2006 Everett High School graduate first taught at Skyline Elementary School, also in Lake Stevens, before coming to Sunnycrest. She was at Sunnycrest for two years.
Among the family’s mementos are messages scrawled by former students. One describes “Mrs. O” as “a very speical ladey. … She’s the best teacher that I’v had.”
“She wasn’t there very long. But her legacy will be there,” Mike Osborne said.
Melissa Slager: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3432.