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Osborne remembered as giver, lover of people & BBQ

Arkansas says goodbye to a man with one of the most generous hearts and love of giving this state has ever seen. And not surprisingly, the funeral for Jennings Osborne well attended by those lives he touched.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas says goodbye to a man with one of the most generous hearts and love of giving this state has ever seen. And not surprisingly, the funeral for Jennings Osborne well attended by those lives he touched.

In classic Osborne style, the lobby of Immanuel Baptist Church in west Little Rock filled with photos of Jennings Osborne on tables adorned with Christmas lights. Osborne made Christmas light displays famous at his home in Little Rock as well as Graceland and Disney World.

In his remarks, former president Bill Clinton imagined what Jennings likely said when he arrived in heaven.

"Thanks again for letting me be here but just one more thing,” Clinton said, imitating Osborne. “This is the most beautiful place I have ever seen but it could do with a little more light at night."

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee talked about Osborne as a political person, but certainly not partisan.

"When I think about the fact that Jennings Osborne was able to have relationships with Clinton’s, Carter’s, Bush's, Huckabee’s and all these people from all over the political spectrum, I really think the Lord probably should not have taken him home,” Huckabee says. “But should have sent him to Washington, Lord knows we could use him there now."

From barbeque to fireworks to Christmas lights, Osborne’s love of giving comes up again and again. Former Arkansas Razorbacks football coach and longtime athletic director Frank Broyles says he learned a lot from Osborne.

"He was one of my closest friends, one I admired because he was a giver,” Broyles says. “He was always looking to help people."

Osborne’s daughter, Breezy Osborne-Wingfield, told the more than 500 in attendance that her father was the funniest person she ever met and thanked doctors who she said extended her fathers life to allow them more time together.

"Thank you for holding my hand my entire life. It was an honor holding yours as you entered the gates of heaven,” Osborne says. “You're never far from my minds and always in our hearts. Love your little Beezer. And because Dad would want me to say it, "go Hogs."

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter was also in attendance, reading a letter from her husband, former president Jimmy Carter. Music during the service, including “How Great Thou Art” and “Amazing Grace” were recordings from Elvis Presley.
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