Dana Marjorie (Tift) Osburn, the daughter of Gerald and Marian (Rogerson) Tift, was born September 15, 1949, in Providence, Rhode Island. Dana attended school in Barrington, Rhode Island, and enjoyed the summers in Onset, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. She graduated from Barrington High School in 1967.
After high school, Dana traveled from the East Coast to Lamoni, Iowa, to attend Graceland College where she spent her first two years. When she realized she could not finish her selected degree at Graceland, on a whim, she joined a friend and transferred to Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg. Here she met “Stan the Man,” who swept her off her feet.
In 1971, she married Stan, the good ol’ country boy, and worked to complete her degree. Shortly after marriage, she graduated with Bachelor of Science in Home Economics in Education. After graduation, she and Stan moved to the smallest town she had ever known, Fairfax, Missouri. She began her career in Burlington Junction as a Home Economics teacher and started making an impact on the lives of young adults.
Dana and Stan immediately started their family and welcomed their first child, Kenna Renee, on October 13, 1973. A few years later, Ryan Tift was born on July 6, 1976, and Brooke Ellen was born on July 2, 1979. From 1973 to 1985 Dana focused on being a full-time mother, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, aunt, friend, and volunteer.
She returned to work in 1985 as the K-12 art teacher at Fairfax R-III and secured another Bachelors degree in Art from Tarkio College. She was an outstanding art teacher and everyone loved to be in her class. She revitalized programs, transformed the school with her paintings and sponsored countless extracurricular activities. Dana’s dedication to her students went beyond the realm of teaching. In 2000 she was employed by Craig R-III High School as their 7-12 Home Economics teacher where she finished her career and retired in 2013. She loved her students and swore they kept her young.
Dana was dedicated to her community and school. She volunteered for everything: 4-H, Girl Scouts, school dances, class sponsor, cheerleading sponsor, Sunday school teacher, pastor at her church and Community Hospital Auxiliary volunteer. Her house was constantly flooded with family and friends. She was an over the top hostess, always filling her home with love, laughter, and the best homemade rolls!
Dana had a blast helping her three children plan for, decorate, and personally cater their weddings. Ryan married Sarah Gaines in 2000, Brooke married Jason Trachsel in 2001, and Kenna married Phil Eilers in 2002. Shortly after, she had another round of fun when eight wonderful grandchildren arrived: Tony, Alyssa, Tanner, Grant, Maggie, Ellie, Tate and Ty.
Dana’s grandkids were her life! She was always there to watch Tony dominating the basketball court, Alyssa pitching lights out, Tanner rocking it on the soccer field and Grant launching some home runs. She also loved baking with Maggie, doing crafts with Ellie, playing cards with Tate and playing legos with Ty. No matter the activity, Dana lived each day to make all her grandchildren feel loved and as if they were each her favorite.
Dana was well-known for her culinary skills, probably making Ryan 1,000 batches of chocolate chip cookies in her life. Her cinnamon roll tea ring was sought after by many along with her raspberry pie that could win awards.
Dana was also known for her creativity, beautiful art work, sewing, and decorating skills. She dutifully made Halloween costumes, painted murals at school and in grandchildren’s bedrooms, and she had a knack for holiday decorating among other things. She loved to travel with friends and family and always enjoyed planning for the next big adventure.
Dana loved her family, the beach (Onset, Massachusetts), loved to play cards and would laugh until she cried. Dana spent her life loving people, making memories and building experiences. She will be missed beyond measure and will always be loved.
Dana passed away December 11, 2019. Besides her parents, Dana was preceded in death by her mother-in-law and father-in-law, Margaret and Dale Osburn, and brother-in-law, Kenny Osburn.
Survivors include her husband, Stanley, of the home; children, Kenna Eilers, Overland Park, Kansas, Ryan (Sarah) Osburn, Fairfax, Brooke (Jason) Trachsel, Olathe, Kansas; grandchildren, Alyssa and Grant Eilers, Tony and Maggie Osburn, and Tanner, Ellie, Tate and Ty Trachsel; sister, Marsha Barrs, Onset, Massachusetts; nieces, Stacey Poole and Korrey DeMond; and nephew, Chad Barrs.
A memorial service was held Monday, December 16, 2019, at United Methodist Church, Fairfax, conducted by Community of Christ Priests – Bob Beckett and Teresa Mackey. Private family inurnment was held at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Fairfax. Memorials may be directed to Camp Farwesta, Stewartsville, Missouri, and Community Hospital Auxiliary, Fairfax.
Services were under the direction of Schooler Funeral Home, Fairfax.