By Conrad Dudderar
An admired Yukon attorney is being remembered for his dedication to the legal profession, love for family and friendly nature.
Yukon’s Mark William Osby died July 23 at the age of 54 after a courageous two-year battle with cancer. He was born Nov. 29, 1968.
Osby was a family practice attorney in downtown Yukon for several decades. He was the City of Yukon’s municipal prosecutor for more than 20 years, also serving as a municipal judge in Union City and Hinton.
Another longtime attorney, John Alberts of Yukon, said Osby was one of the nicest people he’s ever known.
“As an attorney, I was always happy to see when he was on the other side of a case,” said Alberts, a former Yukon mayor. “Mark was a gentleman in an out of the courtroom. He would always listen to the things that my client needed me to share.
“And he was always a gentleman in making an argument for his client.”
Alberts’ law firm had a current case with Osby – and it has not been an easy one.
“Mark would tell me to give him a call or text on his cell phone if we were having problems in that case, and he would take care of it,” Alberts shared. “And through all the treatment and everything that he was going through, any time that I would call or text him I would get a prompt response and action.”
Osby was an excellent attorney – but an even better person, Alberts emphasized.
“God got a good one when Mark went home,” he said. “He is going to be greatly missed by many people, including the Canadian County Bar (Association) and our local legal community.”
Renee Troxell, trial court administrator in Oklahoma County, graduated with Osby in 1994 from the Oklahoma City University School of Law.
“If everybody were to live their day as happy as Mark Osby lived his day every day, the world would be a better place,” Troxell said.
“I don’t think I ever saw Mark without a smile. That was him from the first time I met him to the last time I saw him.”
Troxell said she appreciated Osby for his “public servant attitude”.
They were active together in the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division, for which Osby served on the board of directors in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“Mark was involved in our Mock Trial program, where high school students from various schools have mock trial teams that compete in Oklahoma for the opportunity to advance to nationals,” Troxell related.
“He was very involved on that committee, helping bring up new attorneys.”
Troxwell fondly recalls playing with Osby and other fellow attorneys on a softball team named the “Loopholes.”
She knew him as someone who would “do anything” just to have fun.
Yukon attorney Chris Henthorn, who served as Canadian County Bar Association president in 2003-04, called Osby a “man of exceptional quality and character.”
Henthorn and Osby served together as officers in the Canadian County Bar Association, which in 2003 was recognized by OBA as an Outstanding County Bar Association.
In 2005, Osby won OBA’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award.
Yukon’s Tim Peters was Osby’s longtime friend.
“This world is feeling a huge loss without Mark,” said Peters, a Canadian County sheriff’s sergeant and high school football coach. “He was a very caring, compassionate person. He would do anything for anyone and help anybody who was in trouble.
“Mark’s ‘happy places’ were being with his family, going to sporting events and talking about the Dallas Cowboys. We’d always give each other a hard time because Mark was a huge OU fan and I love OSU.”
Meanwhile, Alberts recalled how much Osby enjoyed collecting sports cards. Both attorneys had fun exchanging stories about their favorite cards.
“I even got to the point that I trusted him so much that I gave him my secret location in Oklahoma City for finding great sports cards,” Alberts related. “Of course, he promised that he would never share it with anybody else.
“Mark always seemed to have a smile and a positive attitude. Even as he battled through the cancer that ultimately would take his life, any time that I saw him at the courthouse over the last six months, he was always happy to see me and had time to talk to me about our case or sports cards.”
Jami Osby described her husband as “amazing” and the “greatest man, father and grandfather” she’s ever known.
“He was a light to all who knew him, and we will forever hold our memories of him in our heart,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
A memorial service for Mark Osby will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 222 NW 15th in Oklahoma City.
Arrangements are by Smith & Kernke Funeral Homes & Crematory, Oklahoma City.