Obituary: Johnnie “Jake” Earl Osborne

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Jan. 30, 1950 ~ Feb. 7, 2021

Jake Osborne

Rangely lost a little bit of itself when Johnnie Earl Osborne “Jake” passed away Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. Jake ended his six-year battle with cancer when he decided he had fought enough…and was ready for a new adventure.

Adventure is nothing new for Jake. When barely 20 years old he would chase after his older brothers, and dreams of a bigger life in a far-off place called California…but Rangely would soon call him home, having taught him that life in Rangely was as big as it gets. He would spend decades designing, building, fixing, and maintaining the oil rigs, and the vehicles that serviced the Rangely field. He never once came across a downed rig he couldn’t fix. His expertise was by no means limited to the oil fields. Soon everyone would be calling on Jake, including the town itself, when in need of something special. The light posts that line Rangely’s Main Street and the Dinosaur Bike Rack at the towns’ library would be only the beginning of the countless contributions Jake made to the town he loved calling home. Bone chilling temperatures during the winter months…along with rattle snakes and bears during the summer might try to slow him down…but nothing his beloved Western Slope could throw his way was a match for a determined perfectionist the likes of Jake. Folks from all over the tri-state area will all tell you if you had a problem that required a welding stick and some serious know-how…you needed to call Jake.

Back home in Rangely is also where he would meet and marry the love of his life, Laura. Together they built a life, three successful businesses, and raised their son Logan doing what folks in Rangely do…hunting, fishing, working, and living life…their way.

Jake was never happier than when getting as far away from a paved road and a cell signal as he could to spend time around a campfire with those he loved. The mountains around Rangely are in fact, Jake’s Mountains. He grew up in them, explored every inch of them on foot, horseback, 4×4 and side by side. Long before the days of smartphones and GPS…Jake could give turn by turn instructions, naming each trail for anyone interested in escaping civilization and discovering his Colorado. This love of his mountains is a blessing he has passed on to those he cared enough about to share them with. Anyone lucky enough to have spent time on Willow Creek or Razorback Ridge, listening to Jake share the area’s history, pointing out secret petroglyphs, where the wild horses come through, where the elk winter, and even pointing out the fresh mountain lion tracks in the trail…will tell you how deeply he loved these mountains, and always will. They will also tell you how much they look forward to running into Jake again very soon…for a big grin, a “how the hell are ya?” and a hunting story or three…right here in “Jake’s Mountains.”

The family is planning a celebration of his life this coming summer and look forward to welcoming all friends and family. Details to follow. Online condolences may be shared at