John and I first met at Green Fields Country Day School. He had been a dear friend ever since. I will miss our weekly telephone conversations, but most of all I will miss John himself. He was one of the most dedicated teachers I had ever encountered, and I know his former students feel the same way. John was a kind and loving individual, and he will be sorely missed by all. Rest in peace, my friend.
Mr. Ostlund was my Dorm Master for my three years at Blair Academy, and during my senior year, I was his prefect. He was a dear friend, a cherished advisor, and an inspiring teacher. In my first years away from home he was a life coach, instilling confidence in me. He was always there for me when I was struggling with classwork or when I was brokenhearted over a young lady. He treated me like a son.
He was a great teller of jokes, did amazing Bogart and JFK impersonations, and he was a wonderful storyteller. Did you know that he met JFK on more than one occasion and that JFK knew him by his first name?
John was a man of vision and indomitable spirit, willing to speak truth to power. I am so grateful for the excellence and courage he inspired in those who knew him. A man of great strength who joked that he was not “warm and fuzzy,” but it was pretty clear right away how generous and bighearted he was. He will be sorely missed while his example will continue to inspire.
The most influential teacher I had in high school, who got me to begin the lifelong process of not being afraid to look at myself critically. He had a major influence on my personal look at people and caused me to come out of my insecure shell in a HUGE way that I will never forget. I never would have sought out friends who were different than me (managing Varsity football for example) at the time, with out his influence. I had so many walls that I had made around myself to keep myself in and others out, and he caused me to rip them down. The confidence and social skills I got from him have stayed with me to college and today. I was incredibly fortunate to have him as a teacher and housemaster at Blair Academy. While I am deeply saddend by this, it is clear from the obituary that he lived a very full life.
As a former student of his at Blair Academy, I remember with fondness (and now sadness) my dedicated, deep, thought-provoking, and loveable teacher / dorm master / mentor / friend, Mr. Ostlund.
John had a deep impact on me in my high school years. I served as his prefect '90-91 at Blair Academy and we shared many great conversations, trips to the movies, and fun times. He supported my interest in history and helped me build a lifelong love of exploration, debate and curiosity and I will forever appreciate the time we spent together. His spirit, scholarship and love of life, through both its ups and downs, has served as an example to me my entire life. Not everything is easy, he was a fighter. I will miss him greatly
Condolences to the Ostlunds
William Bao Bean
wbean23 at gmail dot com