Chris Osborne pic

A crowd made their way to the grounds of the Kingstree Parks and Recreation Complex where balloons were launched in memory of Chris Osborne, a coach, SC BBQ judge and beloved member of the community. See more photos of the celebration online at

Photo by Michaele Duke

Family and friends celebrated the life of Chris Osborne at the place he always felt at home. On August 27, members of the community gathered with Osborne’s family for a celebration of life and balloon release in front of the Kingstree Parks and Recreation Complex. It would have been Osborne’s 61st birthday.

Many spoke about Osborne as a man that would go out of his way to help others. He helped teenager Kalifa Wilson become the proud owner of a vehicle when she was struggling to obtain one. The American Idol contestant and Kingstree native sang Happy Birthday at the life celebration.

In 2013, Osborne was presented the HomeTown Township Award from the Town of Kingstree. In 2017, he was honored with the key to the Town of Kingstree for his dedication to the community and his positive impact on the youth. Osborne was a member of the South Carolina Barbecue Association and was a certified judge. He also was a fixture at the annual Kingstree Pig Pickin’ Festival.

Osborne’s ties to sports are deep. He coached small fry tackle division for Clarendon County Football League and Dixie Youth baseball for the Kingstree Rec Department. Osborne’s connection in sports lies in the kids whom he loved deeply. A group of those kids sat in the middle of the crowd as members of the community described their personal experiences. Afterward they made their way to the grounds where balloons in their team’s colors would be launched in memory of the best coach in the world.