September 30, 2014

Family and friends remember Tommy Osier

By Sherry Barnum
Features Coordinator | info@ogemawherald.com
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STANDISH — People throughout the community remember Tommy Osier for his huge personality, obnoxious behavior, weed whacker noises and kind heart.

“On the surface he acted like a bully but when it came down to it he would never do anything,” said Eric Schmidt, 17, of Standish, adding that Osier was the type of person that would always go out of his way to help someone. “If he wanted to hang out and I had to work, he would come over and help me finish the job.”

Ryan Stokoszysnki, Standish-Sterling’s Future Farmers of America adviser and Agri-Science teacher, said Tommy was his right hand man for FFA.

“He always helped load and unload props and other things during competitions,” Stokoszysnki said.

“He was one of the hardest working kids and always did what he was asked, whether it was watering plants in the greenhouse or planting trees.”

Osier had the full FFA experience, from leadership to agriculture and working with community leaders.

“He was unique to the program because he liked to do both leadership and agriculture,” Stokoszynski said. “His main goal every year was to make it to State Competition. That was the big event. He didn’t care if he won, and he just wanted to make it there.”

“He loved being on a tractor,” Linda said. “He got his start at his dads and uncle Marks farms.” She said he worked at McDonalds for two weeks, but couldn’t handle being inside. “He loved being outdoors, whether it was working on the farm, fishing, hunting, skateboarding, whatever, as long as he was outside.” For only being 18 years old Osier, did a tremendous amount of things. “He enjoyed woodworking, metal work, construction- he even had his own tool belt, and recently he got interested in taxidermy.”

Stokoszynski said FFA was important to the whole family. “He enjoyed and cared about what the FFA jacket symbolized,” Stokoszynski added. “Jane, Osier’s sister, took first at State Competition in 2009 as part of the Parliamentary Procedure team, so being a part of FFA was like carrying on a legacy to him.”

He said that as a junior Osier already had his eye on the future. “The past few months, we were looking into the Windmill Technology program at Delta for him,” he said. “I mean, he was only a junior so a million different things could have popped into his head between now and then, but he knew that he was interested in that program.”

Tommy’s mother, Linda said, if he started something, he had to finish it.

“I would never let him quit,” she said.

Scott Osier, Tommy’s father, said he was interested in a number of things.

“In sixth grade, his teacher, Mr. Katt was a re-enactor at the River of Time and told his class that if they came and found him they would get extra credit, so we went and it was there Tommy became interested in the bagpipes,” he said. “Mom and Dad had to buy a set of pipes.” “He was pretty devoted and took part in a lot of events, soon the whole family was reenacting as well.” He added that his daughter made the costumes and it was something that the whole family enjoyed doing.

Linda added that Tommy took part in 18th Century re-enactments from Standish to New York, playing bagpipes. He played at Ogemaw Hills Bike Week with the band Livewire throughout the streets of West Branch,” she said.

“He loved music of all eras and genres,” Linda said.

Linda added that Tommy was always trying to keep up with older siblings, so by age three he was riding a two wheel bike and when he was four got a two wheel 1970 50 CC Honda. “I took him everywhere on the back of a motorcycle,” she added. “Whenever we went across the Mackinaw Bridge he would be holding out his arms letting the wind carry through them, while most kids or adults would be hanging on for dear life.”

“We always tried making music, but it was hard because Tommy only played the bagpipes and I play the drums, so when he came over I told him he needed to choose something else, when he did, he chose the bass guitar,” Eric Schmidt said. “When he finally bought a bass he bought a left handed one and Tommy was right handed, so he had to flip it and restring it so it would work.”

“He pushed us to try new things,” LJ Isetts said. “Some things were good, others bad.” He added that he let Tommy work on his jeep, but when they took his jeep apart, they couldn’t get it back together.

The boys recalled the last week of school as a blur. “It was silent and had an eerie feeling to it,” Isetts said.

“I think about it still, everyday he was my best friend and a lot of stuff happens I want to tell him, but can’t,” Eric said.

Osier’s FFA advisor Stokoszynski said, there wasn’t anyone that Tommy didn’t get along with, so the news of the accident impacted everyone.

“Everything happens for a reason and I am so proud of everything he has accomplished, that is something I can carry with me forever,” Linda said.

Moving forward from the accident, Linda is looking to become an advocate for silo safety with the intent to educate young farmhands and farmers as well about the dangers of silos. “I’m going to call it, Tommy’s Advocated for Silo Safety.”

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