Roland Ostrander

  • "John, sorry to hear about your father. May his memory be a..."
    - Monty Bennett
  • "Sorry for your loss John. Rest in Peace Oz and thank you..."
    - John Hartley
  • "John and Tom, I am so sorry to read of the loss of your..."
    - Minnie Hemphill

Roland J. Ostrander "Oz" CHARLOTTE - Roland, known to all as Oz, passed away early Saturday, July 12, 2014, at his home in Matthews. He was in the loving company of his family, and in the care of the devoted staff of Plantation Estates. Born on April 4, 1917 in Stockbridge, Michigan, he was the first son of the late E. Burnie Ostrander and the only child of the late Edith Sharp, who passed away in the year of his birth. He was raised in his youngest years by his grandmother on a farm outside of town, in a very rural setting. His home had no electricity, no running water, nor any central heat, but it was filled with love. After his father remarried, to the late Elsa Nenninger, the family was blessed with three more boys, Richard, James and David, all of whom preceded him in passing. After graduating from high school in East Lansing, Michigan, Oz attended and graduated from the school now known as Michigan State University, with a degree in Engineering, while working at Sears Roebuck & Co. to support his education. Following his graduation, he moved to Detroit, where he began his 38 year career with Ethyl Corporation. At Ethyl, he had engineering and executive responsibilities in Detroit and in Princeton, New Jersey. Upon the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and proposed to the late Sybil Swartout, who became his wife of 54 years. During World War II, he had duties at the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD) and at the San Diego Naval Base, teaching young officers the necessary rudiments of engineering and mechanical drawing. Returning to Detroit, he continued his successful career at Ethyl Corporation. He and Sybil had two boys, Tom and John, whom they raised in a home on a small lake in suburban Detroit. His joy was his family and various activities with them. With Sybil, he was an avid and talented bridge player and a sailor. He taught and participated with his boys in electronic and mechanical hobbies and many sports, including golf and various water sports. Starting in 1954, Oz and Sybil, and later their boys, had a lifelong tradition of attending The Masters golf tournament in Augusta. The family developed and shared many great memories of those days. The family also attended all home games of the Detroit Lions for decades, until the team's consistent poor performance, and the family's move to New Jersey ended that tradition. Oz's serious interests included building and operating: many Amateur Radios, many flying model airplanes, his first color television and a computer. He had a brief teaching assignment at Trenton State College and a long interest in astronomy. Oz was a member of the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club, where he was honored for his contributions to its observatory. After retirement, Oz and Sybil moved to Plantation Estates in Matthews, near the home of their devoted son John. Several years after the passing of his beloved wife in 1996, he found a second chance at deep and caring love, and in 2003 he married the late Margaret ("Peg") King of Plantation Estates, the widow of the late Walter King, whom he and Sybil had known and played bridge with. His years with Peg were filled with joy, well into their 90s. Peg preceded him in passing in 2012. In his final years, Oz was blessed with the care of the staff at Planation Estates, the unending devotion and attention of John, and his wife, Rosa, and visits by Tom and his family. In addition to his sons, Oz is survived by five grandchildren, John, Elizabeth, Brian, Evan, and Emily, of Los Angeles, New York City, and Long Island, New York. A small service for family and close friends was held at Plantation Estates on Sunday, July 13, 2014. Condolences may be offered at
Published in Charlotte Observer on July 16, 2014
Roland J. Ostrander
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Harry & Bryant Funeral Home
500 Providence Road | Charlotte, NC 28207 | (704) 332-7133
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