William (Bill) Ostlund

William (Bill) Charles Ostlund, the son of John and Beverly (Juhl) Ostlund, was born April 5, 1947, in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and left this life on January 29, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. He lived his life to the age of 72 years, 9 months and 24 days.


Bill grew up in Webster City, Iowa, and graduated from Webster City High School in 1965. He was his class’ president. He attended and received his undergraduate degree from The University of Iowa in 1969. Bill received his Juris Doctor degree from The University of Wyoming in 1972. He remained a proud Hawkeye and Cowboy the entirety of his life.

On April 14, 1968, William Ostlund was united in marriage to Marcia Ann Niebuhr at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Webster City. They lived in Iowa City until Bill’s graduation from The University of Iowa in 1969. They then moved to Laramie, Wyoming, for three years, where Bill attended law school. Upon completion of his schooling in 1972, they lived in Anamosa, Iowa, where Bill was a judicial clerk for Iowa Supreme Court Justice Warren J. Rees. While in Anamosa, their son Andy was born on January 26, 1973. In July of that year, the Ostlunds moved to Jefferson, Iowa, where Bill began practicing law. Their daughter Sarah was born on March 13, 1974. Bill remained in private practice until being appointed a District Court Judge for the State of Iowa in 1994. After 21 years in private practice, 11 years as the county magistrate judge, in 1995 Bill began his 24-year tenure in Iowa’s Judicial District 2B on the bench as a judge. On Bill’s 72nd birthday, Judge Ostlund adjourned his court for the final time after serving as a judge for 35 years in total and began retirement.

Throughout Bill’s life he was involved in many organizations and activities. He was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Jefferson. Bill was a member of the University of Iowa I-Club and the Greene County I-Club and the Kansas City Iowa Club. He began attending football games at Kinnick Stadium as a young boy with his father and passed the tradition on to his children and even his grandson, George. Bill was a member of the Greene County Golf Club and a faithful follower of the PGA, attending The Masters Tournament in Augusta, GA, and The Ryder Cup. Bill was a member of the Greene County Bar Association and participated in grading bar exams for many years throughout his career. He also was a member of the Elks Lodge in Jefferson, Iowa. If you knew Bill in any way, there’s a good chance you have watched the annual Bell Tower Parade from the Ostlund’s front yard as this was a tradition near and dear to him. Bill collected many things over his life, but pens and watches were two of his favorites. Finally, Bill was an animal lover, especially dogs, being a proud and loving owner to Sadie, Annie, Rocky, Hallie and, his girl, Belle.

On Halloween morning 2019, Bill’s retirement was interrupted with what was the start of his ongoing health battles. He had a heart attack on Halloween followed shortly by an advanced cancer diagnosis. He battled these issues for three months with his daughter Sarah at his side throughout it all. Andy, Ann, George, Sarah and the rest of his family stood by their father, grandfather and brother during his fight.

William is survived by his son Andy and his wife, Ann, and their son-the light of Papa Bill’s life, George, and two grand dogs, Oliver and Cooper of Shawnee, KS, daughter Sarah, and three grand dogs, Bo, Weldy and Hazel Grace, of Webster City, his beloved pup, Belle, brother; John (wife Beth and sons Timothy and Michael) Ostlund of Centreville, VA, sisters; Mindy (husband Billy Harkins and daughter and son-in law Emily and John ) of Denver, CO, and Janis (husband Tim Graber and sons and daughters-in-law Matthew and Erin, TJ and Erin and daughter and son-in-law Jenny and Matt) of Costa Mesa, CA, great aunt and uncle; Shirley and Don Doolittle of Duncombe, IA, great nieces and nephews; Megan, Molly and Wyatt Burns, Taylor, Harper and Kensington Jo Graber, and Emily, Katelyn and Daniel Peters, as well as many other beloved nieces and nephews and cousins and friends. Those that preceded William in death were his wife, his parents, father and mother-in-law; Albert and Martha Niebuhr, a favorite grandma, Esther Juhl, and beloved friend, Dan Boonstra.

Memorials may be given to The University of Iowa Center for Advancement Iowa Law School Foundation (Iowa Law School Foundation) where funds will go to The University of Iowa College of Law’s Clinical Law Program that benefits those in need of legal help that otherwise may not be able to attain it as well as offering law students the opportunity to put their legal skills to use in a variety of practice areas and venues. (Address: One West Park Road, Iowa City, Iowa 52242) (Please note: Checks should be made payable to the Iowa Law School Foundation with either “Legal Clinic Fund” or “Account # 30425093” included on the memo line)

Services for William Ostlund will be held on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at 2:00 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in Webster City, Iowa. Family will be present at the church prior to the service. A celebration of Bill’s life will follow the service at Webster City Links Golf Course, and we welcome all of you to join us. Interment of ashes will take place later at Graceland Cemetery in Webster City, Iowa.


4 thoughts on “William (Bill) Ostlund

  1. Jane and Rick Dierenfeldt

    Bill was a respected friend and will be missed by all who knew him. Our sincere condolences to his children. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  2. Terry Murphy

    Bill was a super guy and will be missed by all who knew him. I enjoyed waiting on him over the years when I worked at Brenton / Wells Fargo. Just know you are in my thoughts and prayers in the days ahead. My sincere sympathy goes out to you and your family. Hugs!

  3. Mike Lind

    I have so many fond memories of the time spent with Bill and my Dad. Their golf group had so much fun and created so many memories. Bill’s wonderful humor and caring for his friends will be be deeply missed. I hope that you are comforted by your memories.


  4. Tom Naylor

    You were my first friend, my best friend. Neither distance nor time nor death could ever change that for me. Rest in peace my friend. Condolences to Sarah, Andy, John, Janis, Mindy and families.

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