Former Lanett mayor receives parade in his honor

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, December 7, 2023

LANETT — This has been an eventful week for former Lanett Mayor Henry Osborne. On Monday he had the honor of lighting the city’s Christmas tree in Veterans Park. When asked by Mayor Jamie Heard if he’d do this, Osborne told him that he’d been to many tree lightings in Lanett but this was the first time he’d been asked to light the tree. “This means so much to me,” he said.

Wednesday was his 92nd birthday, and city officials had a surprise for him. They had a parade from city hall to his home on the south side of Lanett. Between 15 and 20 vehicles representing every city department took part. With sirens sounding, fire trucks led the way following by police cars with their blue lights flashing.

A senior center bus filled with many of the senior center participants rode in the parade. Mayor Heard was in the parade along with department heads Allen Summers of the electric department, Rocky Bolt of streets, Bo Lauderdale of cemetery and grounds and Trent McCants of the city’s recreation department. Senior Center Manager Sandra Thornton was there as well.

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Daughter Vanessa Sessions was with her parents at the time and videotaped the procession coming past the Osborne home. “Mr. Henry,” as his friends call him, was deeply touched by it all. Photos were taken of him holding some red roses that were given to him upon the parade’s arrival.

Mr. Henry is an excellent cook and gardener. He’s baked many a delicious cake over the years and is really proud of how hi8s geraniums have done this year. “They are still blooming!” he said.

The household has another birthday coming up this week. Like Henry, wife Laura has a December birthday.

“They tell me I’m 92 today, but I think they got the numbers backward,” he joked. “The way I feel today I can’t be more than 29.”

Osborne was a teacher in the Lanett city system for 26 years. He served several terms on the city council before succeeding Terrell Whaley as mayor in 1994. He was followed in the office by Hoyt Owens, Scott Hamil, Oscar Crawley, Kyle McCoy and Mayor Heard. He has also served as a Chambers County commissioner.