Coulter Osborne

Obituary of Coulter A. Osborne



O.Ont., Q.C., LL.D. (Hon.), OLY

April 29, 1934 – April 19, 2023


We mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Coulter Osborne, athlete, jurist, and family man.


Coulter was raised in Hamilton, Ontario by his parents, Clark Osborne and Mary Osborne (Vallely) and, following the death of his mother, by his stepmother Claire Osborne (Jenkins).


Coulter’s athletic talents were on early display at Hillfield College and St. Andrew’s College, where he was a standout student and multi-sport athlete. He ran track and played basketball at Western University, where he is in the Sports Hall of Fame. Coulter was a starting forward on Canada’s basketball team at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne. He returned to Australia 44 years later to carry the torch at the Sydney Olympics.


After graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School, Coulter practised law in Kitchener from 1959 to 1978, when he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario. In 1990, he was appointed to the Ontario Court of Appeal, ultimately serving as Associate Chief Justice. In what might have been his retirement years, Coulter assumed the role of Integrity Commissioner for the Province of Ontario. He continued working as an arbitrator into his 80s.


Coulter was a family man first (unless he had a squash game). At Western, he met his match in Barbara Osborne (Mollison), his loving and devoted wife of 64 years. They were inseparable to the end. They had three daughters, Julie Osborne, Mary Osborne, and Katie Osborne (Michael Bregman). Coulter was an outsized presence in their lives and in the lives of his grandchildren, Annick Thompson, Luke Thompson, Coulter Argue (Maria Castro), and the late Ian Argue (2021). The recent arrival of his great-granddaughter, Paloma, was a blessing.


Coulter was dignified and laid-back with a deep, resonant voice and an easy charm. He was unfailingly kind and consistently late. He loved playing and watching sports, misbehaving dogs, and Frank Sinatra. He was highly accomplished but uncomplicated. A gentle soul with a ready smile, Coulter made friends easily and kept them for life. They and we will miss him deeply.


We extend our heartfelt thanks to Coulter’s caregivers and the staff at Hazelton Place for their kind and compassionate care and support.


We invite friends and family to join us to celebrate Coulter’s life at the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club on Thursday, May 11 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., with brief remarks at 3:45 p.m.


Donations in Coulter’s memory may be made to Book Clubs for Inmates ( or The Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care (


© 2023 Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel Limited. All Rights Reserved.