Abby Ostrem, 1921–2017
Abby Ostrem, who worked as a secretary for 26 years in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State, died on Jan. 10, 2017, in Sacramento, Calif.
Ostrem was well-loved by students and faculty in the department. The editors of the 1984 “Journalism and Mass Communication Newsletter” sang her praises: “All of us here know how fortunate we are to have Abby Ostrem as our department secretary. She started on the job in February 1962, so that many alumni, not to mention the retired faculty, have come to like and admire her as much as we do. That’s why we were delighted when the Alumni Association last June gave Abby its Super Service Award plaque ‘in recognition of long, outstanding and inspired service on the staff of ISU and in recognition of high regard by alumni and the university community.’” In the same newsletter story, Ostrem expressed her thoughts on the recognition. She said, “The nice part about receiving the award was that it brought all three of my children to Ames for the ceremonies, so we squeezed in a three-day fishing trip to northern Minnesota.”
Ostrem retired from the university in 1988. In the 1987 “Journalism and Mass Communication Newsletter” she outlined her retirement plans. “No rocking chair for me; there are too many interesting places to visit and things to do.”
Abby was preceded in death by her husband, L. DeVere Ostrem, in 1973, and by her daughter, Jayne Morden (Ron), in 2014. She is survived by her sons, Kent (Barb), of Billings, Mont., and Dennis (Cindy), of Sacramento. Extended family includes seven grandchildren, Scott Ostrem (Janice), of San Diego, Shelley Williams (Todd), of Sacramento, Heidi Boldt (CJ), of Carson, N.D., Kristin Butsch (Jeremy), of Billings, Nicholas, of Billings, Eric (Mary), of Davis, Calif., Jonathan (Bridget), of Boston; and 16 great-grandchildren.
For more about her life and information on memorial gifts, read her obituary in the Ames Tribune.