Robert E. OstranderRobert (Bob) E. Ostrander (95), beloved son, brother, uncle, friend, and long-time resident of Coosaw Island in Beaufort, SC, died peacefully at Beaufort Memorial Hospital on December 3rd, 2013. Bob, the eldest of five children, was born in Muscatine, Iowa on June 29th, 1918. Bob was a voracious reader throughout his life, an active member of the Audubon Society, an avid bird watcher with a keen interest in Ornithology and lover of Opera. In April, 1941, Bob was asked to serve his country in WWII with the US Army where he trained as a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) operator. Later, he volunteered for the Army Air Corp's Officer Training program and was assigned to the 64th Bomb Squadron of the 43 Bomb Group of the 5th Air Force. While in New Guinea, Bob flew 56 combat missions as a Navigator/Gunner on B-17s and B-24s and attained the rank of Captain and Squadron Navigation Officer. During his service, Bob was awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. Bob returned to the US where he took an active role in training combat crews for B-17 and B29 bombers. He was honorably discharged from active duty in 1945. Though accepted into M.I.T., after the war Bob elected to complete his education at the University of Iowa so as to encourage his younger brother, Richard to attend with him. Bob received the Lowden Award as the outstanding senior geology major going on to earn his MS in Geology in 1950. Upon graduation, Bob began work at Magnolia Petroleum Company, a predecessor of Mobil Oil, as a geologist in Wichita Falls, Texas. Bob worked internationally and domestically and became highly respected in his profession having held a variety of positions - District Geologist, Production Geologist Section Chief, Division Geologist, Division Exploration Manager, General Manager of Acquisitions and New Ventures, to his final position before retirement in 1977 as Vice President of Mobil Exploration Mediterranean Inc. Bob traveled extensively in retirement pursuing his love of bird watching. Throughout Bob's life, family was very important to him and in 1985 Bob and his brothers reunited on Coosaw Island where they built their retirement homes along the Coosaw River. Bob was host to countless family gatherings including watching his beloved Iowa Hawkeyes during their football and basketball seasons with his brothers; Bob ensured every visitor, whether young or old, near or far felt welcomed. Bob spent a considerable amount of time with family members researching and documenting family ancestry for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Bob was highly respected and deeply loved by his immediate and extended families, and will be truly missed. Bob is preceded in death by his parents, Delmar and Grace Ostrander; sister, Geraldine Barry (Harrison); brother, S. James (Marjean); and sister-in-law, Nina Ostrander. He is survived by his two brothers, Richard, and William; three nephews, Craig (Katie), Richard (Karen) and Robert (Lisa) Ostrander; four nieces Diane (Steve) Bond, Karen (Len) Johnson, Susan (Steve) Bates, and Pamela Barry, along with numerous grand nephews and nieces. Bob's final resting place will be at the Beaufort National Cemetery with arrangements handled by Copeland Funeral Home. Pursuant to Bob's wishes, there will be no formal service. Please share your thoughts and stories about Bob and his life by visiting www.copelandfuneralservice.com Copeland Funeral Service is assisting the family with arrangements.
The Guest Book is expired.
Published in The Island Packet from Dec. 7, 2013 to Jan. 7, 2014