Jerry Olaf Ostrum, of Billings, died on September 15th, 2019. He was 85 years of age at the time of his passing. He was born March 9, 1934, the son of Olaf and Hazel Ostrum. He attended school in Absarokee, Montana, and married Margaret Marcus in 1954. He served in the U.S. Army from 1954-55 and after his discharge from the service he returned to Absarokee where he and Margaret raised four children, Cindy Ulmer (Eugene), Randy Ostrum, Cheryl Lamb (Mike) and Bruce Ostrum (Tracy). Jerry and Margaret lived in the Absarokee area most of their lives, but moved to Buckeye, Arizona in 2010 after Jerry’s retirement, then on to Geneva, Nebraska to be close to their oldest daughter Cindy, and her family. They returned to Montana in 2017 where they resided at Morning Star Senior Independent Living at the time of Jerry’s passing.
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Jerry was a man of integrity and he was strong in every sense of the word. He was kind, quiet and generous, always the first to lend a hand or give the shirt off his back. He was employed at Timberweld Manufacturing in Columbus, Montana, for many years, while at the same time running his ranch and raising four children. He was an accomplished high school athlete, and loved to attend his children’s sporting events. From 1976-1980, he and Margaret also owned and operated the Fishtail General Store in Fishtail, Montana. He loved his time on the ranch and working outdoors, and was always creating, maintaining or working on something. He and his oldest son Randy worked together to build their home in Fishtail. In later years he enjoyed golfing with family and friends, and particularly enjoyed golfing getaways with his youngest son Bruce. But most importantly, he loved family time with his children and grandchildren. He asked little of others and gave much of himself.
As Parkinson's grip became more pronounced, Jerry spent time with many different health care workers and he managed to surprise and brighten their days with his quick wit and dry sense of humor. Despite the physical challenges he endured in his final years, he never lost that signature sense of humor as he faced each day with courage and strength, and with steadfast and loving support from Margaret. He was a blessing in many lives, and will be remembered with a smile. He is survived by Margaret, their four children, his sister Marvis (Bernard) Lea, and a solid fan base of eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, his oldest sister Lois (Toots) Kerner, and brother in law Jerry Kerner.
The family is deeply grateful to Morningstar and Stillwater Hospice for the loving care given to Jerry in his final days. In accord with Jerry’s wishes, his celebration of life will be a graveside service at the Rosebud Cemetery in Absarokee at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 24, with a reception following at Immanuel Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Absarokee or a charity of the donor's choice. Condolences for the family may be shared at smithfuneralchapels.com.