George Virl Osmond, patriarch of the dancing-singing Osmonds family, died of natural causes Tuesday at home in Provo, Utah. He was 90.
The father of nine children, including Donny and Marie, who headlined their own TV series, he was born in Star Valley, Wyo., and was devout Mormon who served two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one in Hawaii and one in the United Kingdom. He was also a WWII vet.
He met and married Olive Davis in 1944, and began raising what would become one of the most well-known musical families around. In the meantime, he worked in real estate, sold insurance and was a postmaster for the city of Ogden.
He loved to sing and taught his children barbershop harmony. They started performing at church functions and at local civic events and, managing his talented sons, he arranged for them to perform at Disneyland, where they caught the eye of Walt Disney. They then linked with singer Andy Williams and went on to star careers.
Osmond gave up his work in Utah so his family could move to California to pursue showbiz careers.
He and Olive went on to found the Osmond Foundation, which later became the Children’s Miracle Network, serving children’s hospitals worldwide.
Olive died in 2004. Survivors include nine children — Virl, Tom, Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay, Donny, Marie and Jimmy; 55 grandchildren; and 48 great grandchildren.