Eleanor Osgood, long-time resident of Culver City, died September 11, 2021. During her 75 years, she contributed to her community as a speech pathologist and as a volunteer who engaged others in the fascinating world of birdwatching and in restoring natural habitats. She succumbed after fighting colon disease for six months.

Eleanor was born in Chicago on December 10, 1945. While an infant, she moved to West Los Angeles with her parents, Edward and Rae Osgood, and older brother, Kenneth. After graduating Hamilton high school, Eleanor attended the University of Oregon. She then transferred to the University of California at Berkeley where she earned her BA. She completed a MA in Special Education at Washington State University and another MA in Speech Pathology at California State University Long Beach. Eleanor spent her professional life working in schools in Los Angeles County as a speech therapist and special education teacher. She had a knack for connecting with children with special needs.

Outside the classroom, Eleanor enjoyed American folk music and the company of her pet cats and birds. She was deeply appreciative and protective of the natural world and had a special fascination with birds. In later years she traveled widely as a birdwatcher, throughout the USA and to distant places including Antarctica, Easter Island, and Mongolia. Gardening was another of Eleanor’s passions. She spent tireless hours cultivating her garden of native plants at her home of 50 years in Culver City. During the past 21 years, she was joined in her home by her significant other, Rich Waters, another nature lover.

Eleanor was a dedicated volunteer. She volunteered in the Ornithology section at the Natural History Museum for over thirty years, assisting with a great many tasks and preparing over 500 bird specimens. Eleanor received recognition for being an exemplary volunteer by Los Angeles County. In addition, she was honored by the Disney Conservation Fund as one of their heroes in 2020. They recognized that Eleanor’s work had helped to engage people in the wonders of birdwatching and in the importance of restoring and protecting nature within our urban communities.

Eleanor was well-integrated into the Culver City community, and she made many friends. She was also dearly loved by her family: Rich Waters (her significant other), her brother, Kenneth, and his wife, Roberta, nieces and nephew (Carrie Osgood, Heidi Kaufman, Dan Osgood) and their children, and her cat, Moee. Eleanor was known for being a kind, generous, and patient person. Her passing is a loss for the people who knew her and for her nearby natural world.

A private celebration of Eleanor’s life will be held in October at Stoneview Nature Center, her most recent volunteer hub. Contact robertaosgood@yahoo.com for more information. Tributes to Eleanor’s life and work made in her memory will be welcomed by three of her favorite charities: The Nature Conservancy, California Native Plant Society, and the ACLU


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