Donald Ostrom (1922 - 2014)

Obituary
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Donald D. Ostrom

Don was born in Seattle, Washington on November 24, 1922, the second child of Dr. Ralph and Minnie Ostrom.  Don is survived by Mary, his wife of over 65 years, daughter Barbara Ostrom Ward (Denny Ward) of Danville, son John Ostrom (Sharon) of Denver, CO and son Jim Ostrom (Maura) of Orinda.  He had six grandchildren; Michael, Jason and Victoria (Tori) of Denver and Sam, Brian and Luke of Orinda.  He is also survived by his brother Robert E. Ostrom (Jeanette) of Seattle and was predeceased by his sisters Audree Booth and Shirley Hemstad.  He is also survived by numerous loving nieces and nephews.


After graduating from Ballard High School in 1940, Don enrolled at the University of Washington in engineering.  His time in college was interrupted by three years of military service during World War II.  Following graduation from Officers Candidate School at Ft. Belvoir, VA, he served in the Pacific Areas of Guam, Okinawa and the Philippines.  After the war ended, Don re-entered the UW and graduated with a BS in Civil Engineering in June 1947.  While at the UW, he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity and rowed on Washington's crew team.


Don was recruited on campus and hired by Standard Oil Company of California (now Chevron Corp.), beginning his career in California's San Joaquin Valley oilfields.  During his time in the Valley, he met the love of his life, Mary J. Saunders.  They were married in June 1949 and moved to San Francisco the following year, when Don was transferred to the Home Office.  Except for an eight-year period in Denver, the rest of Don's 40-year career was in the Company's San Francisco offices.  He retired in 1986 as President of Chevron International Oil Company.


During Don's and Mary's retirement they continued some of the travelling that had been customary in Don's assignment with Chevron International.  Don also became involved in consulting work in the industry and volunteer assignments, many with church-related organizations.  He was actively involved with the Chevron Retirees Association throughout his retirement, serving two terms as its president.  He participated in a number of groups and social organizations as well, which he enjoyed very much. 


Don enjoyed life, but never more than when attending gatherings of family and friends.  He was so proud of the achievements and personalities of his children and grandchildren, and treasured his relationships with many long-term friends.


A memorial service will be held at 2pm on Saturday, February 15th at Holy Shepherd Lutheran Church in Orinda, where Don and Mary have been members for over 44 years.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, www.plts.edu.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 10 to Feb. 12, 2014
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