Cover photo for Lowell Ray Ostheller's Obituary
Lowell Ray Ostheller Profile Photo
1943 Lowell 2020

Lowell Ray Ostheller

October 16, 1943 — November 14, 2020

Lowell Ray Ostheller, 77, of Poulsbo, WA., passed away on Saturday, November 14, 2020, at St. Michael's Medical Center (formerly Harrison Medical Center) Bremerton, WA.

The following story is written by Lowell's brother Karl and is titled Lowell's Memory Book.

Lowell was born in Spokane, WA on 16 October 1943 to his Father: Carl Roland Ostheller who was born December 18, 1910, and died September 21, 1975, and his mother: Bernice Wilma Pittman born May 7, 1909, and died October 28, 1951. Both his parents graduated from the State College of Washington. Mother graduated with Honors in Home Economics in 1931. Dad graduated in Agriculture in 1932. They were married on June 1, 1933.

They began life together teaching on the west coast of Washington. Dad taught in the towns of LaCenter, Sequim, and Adna. In 1940 Dad gave up teaching to become a farmer in eastern Washington. The farm was located 30 miles SE of Spokane, 6 miles from Latah, and 1 mile from the Idaho border. The address was Route 1, Tekoa, Wa. Mom became a homemaker.
The four brothers were: Karl, Gary, Lowell, and Donald.

Karl Olney Ostheller Born February 26, 1936, and married Pauline Nelson
Gary Lee Ostheller Born February 7 1937 and married Marie Morrison
Lowell Ray Ostheller Born October 16, 1943, and married Carol Trumbly
Donald William Ostheller Born: May 26, 1949, and married Antoinette Urban.

The most memorable times we had as a family is difficult to explain. Most of my stories involve Gary who was only 1 year younger than me. Lowell came along 7 years later and Don 13 years later. Our mother died when I was 15. We went through some tough times and then Dad married our housekeeper, Leah Rodman, with whom we rarely got along. Since we lived on a small farm, Dad rented Indian land for most of the crops we tended. Dad tried to improve our lot by buying a 1000 acre farm at Nine Mile Falls just north of Spokane. He tried to make a go of that as a dairy farm but did not have enough capital to purchase the items that would have made it successful. After a year, Dad sold that farm and bought a farm out of Cusick, Wa. but the land was very wet and not very fertile and the growing season was short. All we could grow was oats and hay and those crops had to be dried. So Dad sold that farm and went back to being a teacher. He took a job in Guam and took Leah, Lowell, and Don with him. As Gary and I were in college we basically lived our own lives from that point on.

I remember a time after the death of our mother and we were living on the family farm at Latah and Lowell went out to gather the eggs from the hen house. He was carrying them in a 5-gallon bucket when he tripped and dropped the bucket to the groundbreaking most of the eggs. Since egg money was a treasured asset of our step-mother we wanted to hide the results from her. So we cooked eggs at every meal that she was not present at and played dumb when she wondered why the egg production was so low for the month.

I attended Latah Public School for 12 years. However, during my senior year, Dad moved the family to Nine Mile Falls and Gary finished his senior year at North Central High School in Spokane. During our school years, we had many pleasant memories of going huckleberry picking, fishing at Coeur d’Alene Lake, Mom reading to us at night (especially Bible stories), hunting ground squirrels with a 22 rifle, and playing card games on long winter nights. We all enjoyed school and did well in our classes. Gary played clarinet in the band.

Life on the farm was a lot of work. Dad raised crops of wheat, oats, barley, peas, lentils, and hay AND had beef cattle, milk cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, and a couple of horses. There was plenty of chores and jobs to be done, plus the fact that kids are a lot cheaper than a hired man. We also had a large garden which needed frequent weeding. One of our chores was to milk the cows morning and night and then run the milk through a separator to take out the cream. We also learned to drive tractors and trucks very early in life. We started out on a D-2 caterpillar around the age of 6 and soon progressed to the John Deere Model B and then to our D-6. By the time we were 14, we were better truck drivers than our mother. Going to school was such a pleasure. It got us out of a lot of work.

Lowell enjoyed his time on Guam. He got involved with many activities which included school sports, club sports, and scuba diving. He particularly recounted going diving and running into a bunch of jellyfish and got a lot of nasty stings which took quite a while to heal.
His major love of sports included football and tennis and Guam gave him plenty of time for both. Dad only did one tour on Guam and so when Lowell returned Stateside he went on to WSC for college. Dad meantime went back to teaching Ag starting at Randle, WA. While I went on to Whitworth College after high school, Gary stayed with our Aunt Clarice in Wenatchee and went to Wenatchee Junior College. From there he transferred to the University of Washington where he graduated and joined the Army and was stationed in Europe. My best memory is of the Volvo Sportscar Gary had shipped home from Europe.

Christmas was celebrated with a decorated tree and presents. It was big deal for both sets of grandparents as well. I remember many a family feast with extended families and the sharing and playing of our toys. My best gift came when I was 6 years old and Gary and I each got a bicycle. Our family tradition had us opening presents only on Christmas morning AND only after our Mom and Dad had gotten up. That way Santa could drop off some unwrapped gifts at night. We were always awake really early and were always begging our parents to get out of bed. Our house was a two-story affair with two bedrooms upstairs where Gary and I shared one of the bedrooms. I remember sneaking down the stairs at Christmas and past our parent’s bedroom so we could see what presents Santa had brought. I also remember listening to the radio in our bedroom. Programs like the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet, and the Inner Sanctum with its squeaking door. That program usually had me hiding under the covers for fear of what might be under the bed.
We usually celebrated the 4th of July with a trip to the Lake and a picnic. We always managed to get some neat fireworks to shoot off as well. Mom was very religious and so Easter was also a special time. We made Easter baskets and looked for hidden eggs and candy. I remember making May Day baskets of flowers and placing them on our neighbor's doorknob. We would knock on the door and then run and hide to see the expressions on their faces when they opened the door. Dad loved to go fishing and so the opening day of the fishing season usually involved a trip to the lake if farm work was not really pressing. We always had an annual huckleberry picking trip which Mom converted into pies and jam.

Lowell earned his Master's Degree and went on to have a successful career as a Computer Systems Analyst. Lowell was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Poulsbo and enjoyed spending time with his loving family. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

The interment will be made privately on Friday, November 20, 2020, in the Fairfield Cemetery East Truax Road Fairfield, WA.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lowell Ray Ostheller, please visit our flower store.

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Fairfield Cemetery

East Truax Road, WA 99012

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