American Patriotic 11

Edward LeRoy Ostlund

June 27, 1928 ~ October 31, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old

Edward Ostlund Obituary

Edward LeRoy Ostlund

Edward LeRoy Ostlund died peacefully in his sleep on Oct. 31, 2023, in Billings, at the age of 95.

Ed was born on June 27, 1928, in Whitewater, Montana, the first of Levi and Marianne Ostlund’s three children. He often talked fondly of growing up in the Whitewater country among a large extended family. He attended grade school in Whitewater with several cousins.

In 1938, the family moved to an irrigated farm on the Milk River six miles west of Malta. He attended Riverside School east of Wagner and then Malta High School, graduating in 1945. He helped on the farm but preferred to be out exploring, whether on horseback or on foot. He learned to hunt and trap, and built a small boat in high school shop class that he used while trapping beaver.

In about 1946, Ed joined the U.S. Army Air Forces as an MP (Military Police). The U.S. Army Air Forces became the U.S. Air Force during his commission. He expected the opportunity to see the world by air, but laughed when he said he just spent a lot of time crossing the United States by train. His duties included escorting prisoners for long distances, often by train or bus.

Upon discharge from the military, he used his GI Bill to attend the University of Montana in Missoula. He soon decided the Forestry Program wasn’t for him and took a job with the U.S. Census Bureau, canvassing the area south of Malta for the 1950 census. He also took flying lessons in Malta and acquired his private pilot’s license in the early 1950s. At about the same time he married Suzanne LePage and they four children, Linda Sue (deceased), Mark (deceased), Becky and Melissa.

Ed’s longtime interest in the Southwest began when he joined the Border Patrol in 1953. He attended Border Patrol Training School in McAllen, Texas, and learned to speak Spanish. Stationed in southern Texas, he had many adventures in apprehending illegal aliens. He also served in New York, where he inspected ships. The friendships developed in his Border Patrol years lasted throughout his lifetime, and his annual Border Patrol reunions were greatly anticipated events.

When Ed became a Customs Officer for the U.S. Customs Service, he was first stationed at the Port of Sweet Grass near Sunburst, Montana, and then at the newly built Port of Wild Horse, northwest of Havre.

Ed married Sarah (Solberg) Williams on Dec. 18, 1965. Sarah had one son, David, and, before long, they added Dale and Ann Marie to the family. Wild Horse was home for 24 years until Ed retired in December 1989.

After retirement, Ed and Sarah lived in Dodson for several years before moving to Sand Coulee. They spent several months each year traveling all over the United States and Alaska with their travel trailer, visiting friends and family along the way. They loved their church family at Peace Lutheran in Great Falls and were very active members there. Ed loved to visit and share stories over a cup of coffee.

Family photo albums tell the story of road trips all over the United States and into Mexico, campouts, float trips, hunting camps and horse rides. Ed also enjoyed being a pilot and often flew his Cessna 172 on short excursions as well as longer trips to Alaska and the West Coast. Wherever he was and whatever he was doing, his cowboy hat and boots were always “on brand.”

Health issues brought Ed and Sarah to Billings in 2019, where they stayed for the rest of their lives. Special thanks to the staff at Highgate Senior Living and RiverStone Hospice, and to Carl and Jan Solberg for faithfully checking in with him and taking him places.

Ed was preceded in death by his wife, Sarah, of 56 years; infant daughter Linda Sue; son Mark; parents Levi and Marianne Ostlund; brother Robert Ostlund; sister Gladys Jacobson; and numerous brothers- and sisters-in-law.

He is survived by his children Becky (Bob) McDiarmid, David (Rosie) Williams, Melissa (Paul) Pierson, Dale (Jana) Ostlund and Ann Marie (Troy) Boucher; grandchildren Darren and Cory Lundstrom, Kaitlyn and Sean Williams, James and Katie Pierson, Sonja, Wes and Jess Ostlund, Nicolena, Sarah and Buddy Boucher; great-granddaughter Megan (Jon) Knehans; great-great-grandson Roman Knehans; and numerous sisters- and brothers-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at Peace Lutheran Church in Great Falls, with a service at 11 a.m. The service will be livestreamed at Burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the Malta Cemetery in Malta, Montana.

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Funeral Service
November 14, 2023

11:00 AM
Peace Lutheran Church - Great Falls
3340 11th Ave. S.
Great Falls, MT 59405

November 15, 2023

11:00 AM
Malta Cemetery
991 S Fifth Ave. E.
Malta, MT 59538


Peace Lutheran Church - Great Falls, Montana
3340 11th Ave S, Great Falls MT 59405
Tel: 1-406-761-7343

Border Patrol Foundation
P.O. Box 15851, Arlington VA 22215-0851
Tel: 1-520-705-1053
Web: http://(520) 705-1053


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