Wade Osborn Botsford of Sheboygan passed away peacefully at the age of 73 Friday, March 8, 2019 with loved ones at his side.
He was born in New York City to Lillian Osborn Botsford and Franklin Ansley Botsford, who preceded him in death. Wade graduated from Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, N. J. and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Farleigh Dickinson University, Tenafly, N. J. and his Master’s Degree in Special Education/Elementary Education from Nazareth College, Rochester.
He married Jane Jensen Oct. 6, 2004 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Branchport.
Wade served his country in the United States Navy aboard the USS Hugh Purvis DD709 and was honorably discharged in 1971.
He worked for auto companies in Englewood Cliffs, N. J. with the design of accessory catalogues in his early career and more recently retired as a substitute teacher with the Sheboygan Area School District. He was dedicated to helping students.
Wade proudly served as the secretary for the USS Hugh Purvis Reunion Association since 2006 and his true labor of love was designing the reunion T-shirts every year. He was able to finish the design for the 2019 reunion in Connecticut for his shipmates. He was proud of being a tin can sailor and the shirts and hats guy for the reunion association. He believed in helping others and volunteered with the Red Cross with disaster relief during Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina and was a regular blood donor. An avid fly fisherman and fly tier, he also built bamboo fly rods with amazing attention to detail. Wade enjoyed spring turkey hunting in Western Wisconsin and Yates County. He raised many types of orchids and was a master at getting them to bloom. The orchid show at Mitchell Domes and Tampa became traditions. He raised honey bees and believed in the importance of pollinators. He loved bicycling and built his own wheel sets and enjoyed cross country skiing and heading to the fitness center at South High. He enjoyed vintage sports cars and talked fondly of his Austin Healey & Corvette Split Window Coupe. His 72 Norton was probably his favorite motorcycle, but he also enjoyed his Sportster.
He researched the best methods of car care and could often be seen hand washing cars when the temperature was above freezing. Wade took great care of his lawn, shrubs, daffodils and loved native songbirds. Music was also very important to him. Jane was happy to go on this wonderful and busy ride with him. Wade was always a generous man who wondered if he had done enough for others and wished he could have done more. He gave from his heart and was always planning the next big “thing.” His corneas were donated to SightLife to restore sight to others.
Wade was always a true friend to others and gave of himself generously. He loved his family and friends and was so proud to be a dad, grandfather and uncle. Jane’s family became his family and his family became her family.
Wade was proud of his Botsford family heritage and their immigration to Milford, Conn. in the 1600s and their eventual arrival in Branchport. He was also proud of his ancestor’s involvement in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Owning and caring for the cottage on his beloved Keuka Lake in Branchport was another labor of love. His heart was and will always be there. It will be named Wade Inn in his honor.
Wade is survived by his wife, best friend and soulmate, Jane. He is also survived by his much loved daughter, Katelyn Botsford Tucker (favorite son-in-law Hugh) and his granddaughter, Charlie Botsford Tucker and grandson, Alex Tucker. He is also survived by special sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins and others who became niece and nephews as well as his many friends.
Thank you to Mike and Cindy for being wonderful parents to Katy.
Wade enjoyed attending First United Lutheran Church with Jane even though he was always going to remain an Episcopalian.
The family would like to thank all the kind, caring, compassionate & dedicated staff of Heroes Corner/Palliative Care and other staff at Milwaukee VA Medical Center and Hematology/Oncology at Green Bay VA Clinic as well as Cleveland CBOC. Thank you for hugs, support, kind and inspirational words, whirlpools and special shaves, a beautiful vow renewal, Winter Sock Hop, honest and caring conversation, visits, cards, sitting quietly, listening, comfort, resources, prayers, laughter and tears, and the best care possible for the entire family. Thank you to Milwaukee VA Fisher House for providing a safe, supportive and comfortable place for Jane to live during this journey. All became family. Thank you to the Neuro staff at Froedtert as well.
Thank you to family, friends, shipmates, neighbors, colleagues, clergy and volunteers for visiting, calling, texting, sending cards, doing snow, taking care of honeybees and orchids, collecting mail, playing chess and backgammon, making coffee and bringing treats, providing delivery services, bringing food, manicures and pedicures, flowers, creating playlists and working with technology, sitting quietly, making us laugh, sharing tears, praying, talking about memories, and designing Navy reunion t-shirts over the years.
A memorial service will be planned for a later date at First United Lutheran Church in Sheboygan with military honors. Interment will take place at Bitley Cemetery in Branchport with a memorial service and military honors at a future date.
A memorial fund has been established in Wade’s honor and will support staff at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, Milwaukee VA Fisher House, special projects at First United Lutheran Church such as Feed My Starving Children, St Luke’s Episcopal Church in Branchport, and Bitley Cemetery.
“The world is a wonderful place and I hate to leave it. But I’ve had a good life.”
“Haze Grey and Underway.”
To leave an online condolence for the family, please visit www.ballhornchapels.com