Kenneth Adair Ostrander

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Our father, Kenneth Adair Ostrander, of Salina, Kansas passed away on September 21st, 2021 after a courageous battle with (breakthrough) COVID-19. He fought a good fight. A warrior throughout life, he was 80 years old.

 Ken was born on October 26, 1940 to his parents, Raymond C. and Madelene (Hartwig) Ostrander in Rural Allen County. Ken grew up in Humboldt, Kansas. Ken attended Humboldt High School and was captain of the football team and played basketball and ran track. He started dating Janice Lassman in 10th grade. They would meet up at Teen Town, the local teen hangout where plenty of talking took place and sipping a soda. Ken worked at the family farm before he went off to college. After graduating from Humboldt High School in 1958, he went on to earn his Bachelor’s in Arts at Emporia State University.

 After dating for 7 years, he married his high school sweetheart, Janice Lassman, in St. Peter’s Church, Humboldt, Kansas in 1962. Ken and Janice were together approx. 35 years and had 2 biological children, Craig, and Stephanie. Ken was determined to provide for his family and give them the life he felt they deserved. His family meant more to him than anything else in the world, something he often mentioned.

 He joined Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wichita, Kansas and later was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Salina, Kansas for many years.

 He landed his first job as a Lab Tech at St. John’s Hospital in Salina, Kansas. After a year of employment, he went back to Emporia State University to earn his Master of Science. In addition, he completed a 12-month course in the School of Medical Technology at Wesley Hospital in  Wichita, Kansas. This kickstarted a lifelong career at St. John’s Hospital in Salina, Kansas as a Microbiologist/Bacteriologist. He was also known as “Professor Ostrander” at Marymount College where he taught Microbiology. Ken finished out his career at Truman Medical Center, in Kansas City. He was passionate about his careers and was an extremely hard worker and a force in his field.

 Ken often spent many weekends in Kansas City with his daughter, Stephanie, working on DIY projects. He was so willing to pop in at a moment’s notice to assist, in his ever-grateful manner, with any project great or small with which happened to be needing advice or help. He never came to Kansas City without a car full of tools and wood to complete any job required. He was often sent home with a hair full of saw dust and cuts and bruises. He always seemed to be able to draw upon boundless energy. Ken and Stephanie had many great memories they shared. Stephanie’s biggest fan was her Dad, Ken. They spent many hours together on the phone and he always came up with a solution to any problem and was her #1 cheerleader. Last November Stephanie had an incident on a ladder and he dropped everything to be by her side for days and came back to take care of her during her surgeries while she was on the mend. One of the greatest gifts Ken gave Stephanie was that he always believed in her! Stephanie is formed by little scraps of his wisdom. He was her mentor, coach, best friend, advisor, and hero. One of the most important things they shared is the love they had for each other. Ken and Stephanie were blessed with the opportunity of staying by each other’s sides at his last moments on earth. There was no pain on his face; he looked exactly like he went to sleep as he had immigrated to God’s Kingdom. Stephanie watched as Angels welcomed him home to heaven, a very wonderful and happy place. All the tomorrows without him, his wisdom, his grace will be heartbreaking but knowing he will be with our Heavenly Father and reunited with family and old golf buddies would capture a smile in all our hearts and souls.

 Ken’s grandchildren were very important to him. He was a very dedicated grandfather and loved spending time with Hannah and Hans. He was a jokester, and he made his grandkids laugh. Some of his favorite stories, “he was so poor growing up he had to eat bark off the trees to survive”, “his birthday present was 4 tires for the family car” and the infamous snipe hunting prank. It is still a mystery how many pillowcases Kenny and Calvin must have stolen off the family beds for the newcomers. Ken never took life to seriously and was always in good spirits, even until the end.

 Ken was also a passionate golfer and could often be found golfing or playing cards at the Salina Country Club. In his younger years, you would also find him playing hoops at the local YMCA over his lunch period to stay in shape and blow off some steam.    

He enjoyed summer vacations with the family, and they were always an adventure. Too many to name but the memories will be everlasting. Always something to talk about at the dinner table or during holiday gatherings. It is of course also possible to look back and remember those times when things didn’t always go as planned, but they always gave us a chuckle.

 He showed loyalty and respect to and for all his children. He was unendingly proud of Craig, Stephane and Dalton and always tried his best to support them in all their endeavors. They were his center, grounding them in ways that showed them they could achieve anything they set their minds to. His legacy will carry on with them.

 Through the trials and tribulations in his lifetime, he continued to excel and grow from any setbacks. Ken was always grateful, appreciative, and thankful. This man was always grateful for all the people in his life and all the opportunities that have come to him.

He is survived by his son, Craig (Jennifer) Ostrander, Lee’s Summit, MO, daughter, Stephanie Ostrander, Overland Park, KS, son, Dalton (Jessica) Holzmeister, Salina, KS; 2 grandchildren Hannah (Jesse) Roelofsz, Harrisonville, MO, Hans Ostrander, Lee’s Summit, MO; one brother, Jack Ostrander, Lucas, TX,  five sisters, Donna Nord, Iola, KS, Marilyn Carpenter, Grand Island, NE, Janice Anderson, Overland Park, KS, Madlyn Adams, Olathe, KS, Judith Rutledge, Humboldt, KS.  He was preceded in death by two brothers, four sisters and his parents.

 Our hearts and our souls are heavy with his absence. We mourn the loss of our father, grandfather, and brother, and encourage all who knew him to remember the beauty he brought to this world. There will be a celebration of life in the springtime in Overland Park, KS, details are still being worked out and will be posted at a later date. 

 Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made in memory of Kenneth A. Ostrander to the following organizations

Donations can be mailed to Olathe Health Charitable Foundation, 20375 W. 151st Street, Suite 325, Olathe, KS 66061 or made online at https://www.olathehealth.org/patients-and-visitors/giving/one-time-gift/

Donations can be made to St Jude Children Hospital online at https://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/GiftFunds/GiftFunds?px=7255186&pg=personal&fr_id=39300

“Get up every day, love God and do your best. He will do the rest!”

1 Comment

  1. Janice A. Ostrander Anderson on October 14, 2021 at 2:41 pm

    Ken was a wonderful BIG brother, he and I were a little more involved with each other due to our age he was 2 years older than me, & was a tremendous asset to my teenage years. We attended part of high school at the same time. Wow did he make an impression in a time in my life when I needed it. Our sister Carol and I went to him many times for advise on different things, especially teenage boys. Our older brother Keith ( one yr older than Ken) was always available to give opinions and more than advise it was “do this and don’t do that” type of advise. My big brother Kenny will always be very special, I have wonderful happy and exciting memories, I am thankful for all the love and memories we shared, which included his high school sweetheart and bride, Janice Lassman.

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