Mike Ostlund, 65, passed away Friday, April 20, 2018. A funeral service to celebrate Mike's life will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, at Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service, Iowa City. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Camp Courageous, P.O. Box 418, Monticello, IA 52310-0418 or www.campcourageous.org.
Mike and his twin brother, Chris, were born March 17, 1953, in Webster City. He received a bachelor's degree from Simpson College and a master's degree in social work from the University of Iowa. On Aug. 16, 1975, Mike married Kerry Lehmkuhl in Indianola. Mike was born with a huge heart and a gentle soul, and spent his life caring about others. He became a relentless advocate for the less fortunate, and dedicated his life, both personally and professionally, to improving the lives of others. He chose as a profession a purpose-driven career as a social worker. He was a firm, tireless advocate for disabled, disadvantaged and at-risk children, and worked with the public schools to ensure that their legal rights and dignity would be recognized and protected. Even in death, Mike continued to give to others as a tissue and organ donor.
Mike was the adoring father of three sons. Mike and Kerry lost their son, Alex, to SIDS at the age of 4 months. Their second son, Nathan, his Dad's best friend, shared time, conversation, jokes and vacations and cheered on the Cyclones together. A third son, Aaron, suffered profound injury at birth and from that day, Mike, Kerry and brother Nathan cared for Aaron 24-hours a day, seven days a week, with deep love and utter dedication. Mike was a beloved friend, as well, to Aaron's housemates, helping them with tasks they could not do themselves, talking with them for hours, and sharing genuine affection and respect for them, taking joy and satisfaction in helping them with their life challenges.
Mike did extensive research, conducted interviews, and wrote a book based on the loss of his Uncle Bill in World War II, entitled, "Find 'Em, Chase 'Em, Sink 'Em." It was published by the respected publisher of nonfiction titles, Lyon Press. The book went into two printings and resulted in many families of his Uncle Bill's shipmates discovering what had happened to their own lost loved ones. It is now considered by many to be a classic in the genre of submarine warfare literature.
The greatest joy of his life was becoming the grandfather of twin granddaughters. He loved them dearly and made it a point to have something special for them when they came to visit, whether it was nickels for the M&M dispenser that he bought for them, or taking them on "midnight" walks with flashlights when they spent the night.
Mike was a fanatic supporter of ISU athletics and other "lost causes." He had been known to call niece Caitlin and howl like a wolf to make her laugh. He and his beloved son Nathan attended countless ISU football games with his brother Dave and other members of the family. He loved to play fastpitch softball during the summers.
Mike is survived by loving wife, Kerry; and their sons, Aaron of Iowa City and Nathan (Danielle) of Cedar Rapids and their twin daughters, Adyson and Adalyn; his siblings, Linda (Fred) Lipton of Salem, Mass., Dave of Santa Fe, N.M., Mary Beth Ostlund-Wood of Solon and his twin brother, Chris (Sheryl) Ostlund of Waukee; nieces and nephews, Doug (Melody) Tagtmeyer, Mitch (Carie) Ostlund, Shawn (Christie) Ostlund, Caitlin Ostlund, Kate Lipton, Callie Lipton and Ashley (Sloan) Smith; father-in-law, Ken Lehmkuhl; sisters-in-law, Barbara (Craig) Puegner and Tracey Lehmkuhl; and extended family.
He was preceded in death by his son, Alex; his father, Robert; his mother, Mary Belle; his mother-in-law, Donna Lehmkuhl; and sister-in-law, Kathy Tagtmeyer.
Online condolences may be sent to www.lensingfuneral.com.