Ronald Darwin Ostendorf

Ronald Darwin Ostendorf, 81, passed Monday, June 3, 2024, at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center, Mason City.

A funeral service was held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, June 10, at Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, with Mark Doebel officiating.  Burial took place in the Clear Lake Cemetery.  A viewing will was held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.

Ron was born July 18, 1942, in Belmond, Iowa, the son of Frank and Henrietta (Pals) Ostendorf. Ron graduated from Ventura High School in 1960. 

Clear Lake would always have a special place in his heart. At a chance encounter at the legendary Surf Ballroom, Ron was too shy to ask Shirley Johnson to dance so he sent his best friend over to break the ice. From that time forward, their life was filled with dancing at the Surf or just in the kitchen. Ron and Shirley were united in marriage on December 29, 1962, in Britt, Iowa, a union to which three daughters were born.

Through the years, Ron held a number of positions. The ones he loved the most were those that brought him in contact with many people throughout north Iowa. From managing grocery and convenience stores to working at the cookie factory, he loved the opportunity to interact with people. Long before home delivery was an everyday occurrence, he would make sure shut-ins in got their weekly groceries. After retirement, he opened his own cleaning service to make good use of his love of all things clean and orderly. 

Ron and Shirley loved to travel. Favorite destinations were Fort Myers Beach, Hawaiian Islands, and European and Caribbean cruises. In later years, they enjoyed traveling to watch their grandchildren’s activities and most recently, weddings.

Ron is survived by his wife of 61 years, Shirley; daughters, Lisa (Mike) Phillips, Jodi (Don) Cahalan, and Teri Ostendorf; grandchildren Cara Cahalan, Katie Phillips (Carson Hogstad), Erin Cahalan Hayes (Keegan Hayes), and Jacob Phillips; his sister, Barbara Bergman; sister-in-law, Rose (Neal) Santee; brother-in-law, Larry D. Cline, along with many nieces, nephews, cousins and numerous friends. 

Ron is preceded in death by his parents; father and mother-in-law, Clyde and Marcella Johnson; sister Bonnie Williamson; brother Verlynn Ostendorf; and many other family members. 

Memorials may be directed to the Cerro Gordo County Community Foundation, in memo line of check write Clear Lake Firework Endowment Fund; checks may be mailed to Fund 3117 Greenhill Circle Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613 or the Des Moines University with Cahalan Endowment in the memo line of check, mailed checks can be sent to 8025 Grand Ave., West Des Moines, IA 50266; directly supporting students from North Iowa.


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Clear Lake, IA 50428
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