Ralph Ostlund, 82Ralph Victor Alfred Ostlund, 82, Brandon, died October 20, 2009.
Ralph Victor Alfred Ostlund, 82, Brandon, died October 20, 2009.
Ralph was born September 17, 1927 in Evansville to Victor and Esther (Olson) Ostlund. He was raised and schooled in Evansville. He graduated from high school in 1945.
Ralph began working in his father’s hardware store, Ostlund Hardware, at an early age. Following his graduation he joined the U.S. Navy and served as an avionics electrician. He served in the Navy at many locations including the Great Lakes Naval Station, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis. Following his discharge in September of 1948 Ralph returned to the hardware business in Evansville.
Ralph and his father introduced many new items into the store and at one time they even sold International Harvester and Chevrolet products. Due to his training in the Navy, it was natural for Ralph to begin selling televisions, too. In 1958 Ralph and his father moved the business to Brandon. There he continued to build his television business. Eventually he sold it and it became Brandon Communications.
On February 10, 1962 Ralph was united in marriage to Mary Ann Jacobson at the Little Brown Church in the Vale at Nashua, Iowa. The couple was blessed with five children, Mark, Lori, Wayne, Julie and ViAnn. They made their home near Brandon.
In his early years, Ralph was active in baseball and played for Evansville. Community service was very important to Ralph. He served as mayor of Evansville in his 20s. Ralph served Evansville and later Brandon as a firefighter and fire chief. For a short while he was a Lions Club member. He was a longtime member of the Brandon American Legion. Over the years, Ralph served as council member and as president at Grace Lutheran Church.
Ralph had many interests. First and foremost he enjoyed telling stories and would talk all day if you let him. He also liked to go duck hunting and was a longtime deer hunter. Ralph was an avid reader and enjoyed gardening and tended a large fruit and vegetable garden. Ralph’s Swedish heritage was another interest that he kept up on; he loved speaking with Swedes and reading his Swedish Bible. Music was a real joy in Ralph’s life. American classics, big band music and songs from the Great American Songbook were his favorites. He loved to sing every day even during life’s most mundane moments. Last, but not least, Ralph’s hardware store was his pride and joy.
His parents and one sister, Elda Johnson, preceded him in death.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Mary Ann Ostlund of Brandon; two sons, Mark Ostlund and wife, Elizabeth, of Shoreview and Wayne Ostlund and wife, Heather Campbell, of St. Paul; three daughters, Lori Ostlund of San Francisco, CA, Julie Ostlund and husband, Young Chol Lim, of St. Paul and ViAnn Bates and husband, Tom, of Moorhead; five grandchildren, Nathaniel, Samantha, Benjamin, Ethan and Gavin; one sister, Geraldine Hill of St. Louis Park; many nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was held Saturday, October 24 at Grace Lutheran Church in Brandon. The Rev. Dennis Preston officiated. Diane Alveshere and Shaun Carlson provided music. Interment followed at Brandon Cemetery. Casket bearers included David Johnson, Paul Johnson, John Hill, Richard Hill, Edward Hill, Jon Jacobson, Bradley Jacobson and Brian Jacobson. Honorary casket bearers included members of the American Legion Post 278, American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 278 and the Brandon Fire Department. Military honors were accorded by American Legion Post 278.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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