Cover photo for Marilyn Osmun's Obituary
Marilyn Osmun Profile Photo
1927 Marilyn 2018

Marilyn Osmun

January 18, 1927 — May 17, 2018

Marilyn "Mimi" Drake Osmun, 91, died Thursday, May 17, 2018, at Loretto Geriatric Center, Syracuse. Mimi was born in Syracuse on January 18, 1927.

Mimi was well known in musical circles in Central New York, and throughout her long life played in many area bands. Entertaining was her passion, and music was her life. She led her own combo, Mimi's Music Makers, which took many forms with different personnel over the past several decades. She also played in several community bands, dance bands, and marching bands over the years, including The Rhythm-Airs Big Band (charter member), The Liverpool Community Concert Band, The Doctor's Big Band, and the Central New York Police and Fire Marching Band.

Mimi challenged and broke gender barriers throughout her life. At age 13, in order to join the Charles Andrews Junior High School Band, she learned to play the trombone, an unusual choice for a girl in 1940. She was the first female lifeguard at Selkirk Shores State Park in 1944. She was the first female to gain membership to the Valley American Legion Post 1468 concert and marching bands in 1966, after being voted in by the American Legion membership.

Mimi studied classical piano from age 6, and throughout her college years at Wells College and Syracuse University. At SU she was a Piano Major and a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Before college she played in the Nottingham High School (Class of 1944) concert and marching bands during the school year and with the Pulaski Academy and Central School bands, during the summer when her family vacationed at their summer home at Selkirk, on Lake Ontario. She attended those schools with founding members of the Salt City 6, and with them learned to play the jazz and Dixieland standards which she loved. A versatile musician and performer, she would play piano, trombone, banjo uke, sing, and even perform dance numbers and comedy routines as part of ensembles in her younger days.

Mimi married Major George B. Osmun (USAF) in 1948, who predeceased her in 1983. She is also predeceased by her parents Earle C. "Ducky" and Marian (Mills) Drake, well-known Syracusans of the last century. She was the oldest of five children, and the last survivor. Her siblings were Earle C. "Ducky" Drake Jr. (2013), and the Drake triplets: Charles (2017), Alice (1974), and Henry (1990). She is survived by two sons, Edward Drake Osmun of Hayward, Ca., and Andrew P. Osmun (Julia) of Syracuse, a daughter Georgia "Gigi" Osmun of Syracuse, three grandchildren, Damian Velazquez, Ashleigh and Nathaniel Osmun, all of California, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Mimi was a member of St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Syracuse, since 1932. At the time of her death she was the longest serving member of that church. She sang in their choir for 25 years and served as President of St. Elizabeth's Guild. She and her husband George served as adult Youth Group advisors for several years. In more recent years she headed up the St. Alban's All-Stars, a pick-up band used for special church occasions.

Calling hours will be Monday, May 21 from 4-7 pm at Burns Garfield Funeral Home, 3175 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. A Memorial service will be held at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 1308 Meadowbrook Dr., Syracuse, on Tuesday, May 22 at 11:30 am. Following the memorial service the family will greet friends in the church Fellowship room. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery.

Contributions in Mimi's memory can be made to St. Alban's Church, 1308 Meadowbrook Dr., Syracuse, NY 13224, or to the Jazz Appreciation Society of Syracuse, checks payable to "JASS", in care of Treasurer Sue Hodge, 501 Summit Ave., Syracuse, NY 13207.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marilyn Osmun, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours

Monday, May 21, 2018

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Burns-Garfield "A Life Celebration" Funeral Home

3175 E Genesee St, Syracuse, NY 13224

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St Alban's Episcopal Church

1308 Meadowbrook Dr, Syracuse, NY 13224

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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