Dad was born on March 3, 1934, to Shirley (Averill) and Henry Ostendorf in Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was raised on the Rosedale Creamery dairy farm, just north of Fort Dodge. He graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1952. After his graduation, the family relocated to a farm south of Cooper where he helped on his parents’ farm. While helping a neighboring farmer one summer day, he was offered a glass of lemonade from a young lady. After she spilled the lemonade on him, dad asked her if she would like to go on a date. They dated until Dad received his draft notice in 1956 and he reported to Fort Lewis, Washington to begin his service in the U.S. Army. Dad proudly served his country for 2 years in Korea. Along his side, was another soldier, Dave Hohulin, who became a life-long friend. After receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to rural Cooper. Soon after, he asked for the hand in marriage of the young lady who spilled the lemonade on him, Sharon Kay Sitterly. They made their home on a small farm south of Jefferson and the union lasted 63 years until mom’s death in April 2021. To this union, five additional farm hands were born: Rick, Mike, Jeff, Terry, and Scot.
Dad was a family man through and through. He loved spending time coaching little league teams, umpiring baseball games, serving on the Greene County Fair Board for 20 plus years, attending and supporting all his kids in their school, 4-H and athletic activities. He enjoyed teaching his boys how to operate all the farm equipment including planting and harvesting crops.
In his spare time, Dad enjoyed many of his personal interests. He played and umpired for the local Cooper softball team, he enjoyed bowling, and even cut a mean two-step square dancing back in the day. He was a long-suffering Detroit Lions football fan, but things were better for him in the summer when he cheered on his St. Louis Cardinals. He enjoyed watching and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones with his boys and grandchildren.
Prior to his farming days, dad worked in the off season as an appliance repair man for Seala Hardware. After he retired from farming, he started a new career with Franklin Manufacturing, later Electrolux, retiring after 10 years of service. In his “free” time, he started a side business with his son, Jeff, raising hogs. His proudest day was the day the buildings were finished, and the first pigs came in, and his greatest relief came when the last group of pigs went down the road in the truck. He and mom really enjoyed their time with their “Cooper” friends especially the last several years when they got together for the birthday club.
The testosterone-filled house became a little more feminine as the boys brought home “the girls”. First came Ann with Mike, then Sandy with Jeff, then Kathy with Rick, followed by Diane with Terry and finally Scot completed the family by bringing home Tracy. Ten grandchildren joined the hectic house including Tiffany, Sara, Keaton, Sean, Ben, Zach, Michaela, Madeline, Kinsey, and Kassey. Fondly referred to as Grampa O, Dad enjoyed spending time with and supporting all his grandchildren. He attended a lot of school and sporting activities. He loved to tease the grandchildren and get a rise out of them!
A few more names Dad cherished being called, were brother-in-law and Uncle Dick. Rounding out the extended family, Rita, Darrell and their four children, Greg, Dan, Kyle, and Hanna attended many holidays, activities, and celebrations with the Ostendorf’s.
One of the benefits of living a long life is to see a third generation enter the world. Dad was Great Grandpa to Lucy, Remy, Fisher, and Reese. Although he was no longer able to get on the floor and play with them, he adored and loved them all the same.
Now we will take Dad back to the community he cherished. He will rest in the Franklin Township Cemetery next to the love of his life. We are so happy they are back together again!