OSMOND – The Nebraska Community Foundation is pleased to support this series and introduce readers to Northeast and North Central Nebraskans who are Loving Where They Live.
This week we travel to Osmond to meet Kelly and Luella Hodson. After marrying in 1977, the Hodsons moved to Osmond in 1978 to run the family business, now known as West-Hodson Lumber & Concrete, which was founded by Luella’s grandfather in 1930.
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What do you love most about your community?
From the first day we set foot in Osmond, we have found the people to be warm and friendly. They truly care about each other and us. It is a great place to raise kids. Our kids were able to ride their bicycles all over town by themselves, and we always knew that our neighbors were watching out for them. We have made good, lifelong friends here. Osmond is “holy ground” for our family.
Is there something special about Osmond that is surprising or that makes it unique?
The good people of Osmond work, live and play together. Our town is solid thanks to the tireless efforts of groups like the Sons of the American Legion, our three local churches, HOME Team, Osmond Venture Resources, our newly formed Osmond Community Fund and many, many others. Once a need is identified, it is amazing how the community will pull together and get things done. Since our historic flood this spring, we are building a new swimming pool and a new restaurant. Our dentist just moved into a new building, our grocer built a new store just a couple of years ago. Louie’s grandsons have remodeled and reopened Historic Thomsen’s Corner. Osmond is special for sure.
If you could change something about your hometown, what would it be?
It isn’t easy to find much to complain about when it comes to Osmond. We enjoy three active churches, a very good local hospital, great public school, wonderful Catholic grade school, a full range of businesses, good highway access, the busiest railroad in Nebraska, very low crime and lots of recreational opportunities. While we are starting to see some young families moving back to Osmond, we have room for more. Almost every business in town is looking for additional employees.
How would you describe your community to a pen pal in another country?
Luella has been a coordinator for a group that places foreign exchange students with families in our area. She has placed more than 100. We have hosted 13 in our home in Osmond. We just had the parents of a boy we hosted from the Netherlands come and visit, and a girl we hosted from Austria was just here. Both for the second or third time—they are like family. They love Osmond, too.
What makes you most proud of your community?
That’s an easy one . . . our people. They are caring, hard-working, honest folks who take a great deal of pride in their family, faith and community.
What are your dreams for your hometown?
Osmond is not the biggest town in the country by a long shot but pound for pound, it is the perfect place to live, raise a family, work and retire. We have lots of our neighbors who, through hard work and thrift, have the resources to create a lasting legacy by investing in the future of Osmond through our new Osmond Community Fund. When big hearts and big ideas come together, the dreams for Osmond will become reality.
Your relationship to your local affiliated NCF fund, and your thoughts about our work?
I am honored to sit on the advisory committee of our Osmond Community Fund. Through our affiliation with Nebraska Community Foundation, I really think we can continue to recognize the good work that has been done in Osmond for well over 100 years and maybe add to it to ensure a great future for the good folks of Osmond for generations to come.