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Willis Ostrander Jr.


1926 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Willis Ostrander Jr. Obituary
Willis Frederick "Fred" Ostrander Jr.

Fred Ostrander died of a heart attack in Walnut Creek on February 21st at the age of 89, surrounded by his loving family. He was born April 23, 1926 in Berkeley, a fourth generation Californian. He attended Berkeley High School and, after serving in the Merchant Marine in the Pacific during WWII, went on to graduate from UC Berkeley in 1948.

Fred married Nancy Majors in 1950: they recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary. He is survived by Nancy, their four children – Molly Jaffe (Lee) of Santa Cruz, Adam Ostrander (Patty) of Sacramento, Daphne King (Peter) of Berkeley and John Ostrander (Josie) of Denver – nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and his sister Jean Morse of Kentfield. He was preceded in death by his sister Susan Slocumb.

Fred's first job was at Howell's Antiquarian Bookstore in San Francisco. He then went on to work as a loan officer and then vice-president at a Berkeley savings and loan. Later he launched a long career with his own commercial real estate appraisal company.

Fred and Nancy raised their family in an old brown-shingle Berkeley house filled with children and books. Over the years the two of them hiked the Sierras, trekked in Nepal, tangoed in Argentina, and traveled to many countries in between. Fred was well read and concerned about the world, especially the environment. He was a member of the Berkeley Breakfast Club and SIRS.

Fred was a respected poet. His work appeared in prestigious literary journals and he published three collections of his poetry: the latest, It Lasts A Moment, in 2013. Fred was also an editor of the Blue Unicorn poetry magazine.

In memory of Fred Ostrander the family asks that donations be made to the Yosemite Conservancy or the Lawrence Hart Institute.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Mar. 18 to Mar. 20, 2016
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