Robert H. Ostdiek

 

April 25, 2024

Robert H. Ostdiek was born on May 2, 1933, in Lawrence, Nebraska, to Hubert and Louise Ostdiek. The fifth of 13 children, Robert grew up in Lawrence, where he attended Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School and Lawrence High School. 

In 1943, Bob's father purchased the Lawrence Locomotive weekly newspaper, which the growing family would help publish. This began a family business that would grow to include six Nebraska community weekly papers over a span of more than 70 years.

He attended the University of Nebraska, and earned a BA and MA in mathematics, and education. Bob was part of the Army ROTC program and was commissioned in 1955.  He served in the Army Reserve for eight years. He was proud of his service to our country.

In 1957 Bob began working as a high school math teacher in North Bend, where he met Janet Johnston. The two married in April, 1959. They spent their first year of marriage in Columbus, Nebraska. In 1960 they moved to Gretna. Here they raised their family of nine children and remained through life.

With Bob's previous experience in newspaper publishing, he was approached by the Gretna community to begin a weekly newspaper, thus the Gretna Guide and News was born and served the community for 60 years.

Bob worked as a teacher and principal at Gretna High School from 1960 until 1973. Bob then accepted a position in administration of the Papillion-LaVista school district. Bob retired from Papillion-LaVista in 1998, having proudly served in public education for 43 years.

Over the years Bob's involvement in the Gretna community included serving on the Gretna City Planning Board, Gretna School Board, and the Gretna Schools Foundation. He was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Parish and served on the parish council and finance boards. Even in retirement Bob was always looking out for others. He determined a need for an accessible playground at Peterson Park and began planning and fundraising the installation of the barrier free playground. In 2015 he was honored as the Gretna Citizen of the Year.

One of Bob's favorite organizations was the Knights of Columbus, which he joined upon his 18th birthday. Bob remained active in the Knights throughout his life. He helped charter the Papillion-Gretna council and later the Gretna council. Over the years Bob spearheaded numerous community projects, including the annual coat drive and K of C track meet. He led fundraising for the all faith chapel at the Eastern Nebraska 4-H Center and Skutt Catholic High School. 

Bob served as the Nebraska State Deputy and was elected to the Supreme Board.  Bob's involvement at state and national levels of the Knights of Columbus provided opportunity for Bob and Jan to travel to conventions around the world. They regularly attended the state and national conventions.

Bob was an avid sports fan. He followed the Huskers faithfully and kept up with Gretna sports. He enjoyed attending games. Bob loved watching his children and grandchildren participate in their many activities. He was always ready with post-game coaching after any event.

Bob and Jan kept very active in their retirement years. They built a lake house near Clarks to enjoy with their family and friends. They enjoyed many travels, visiting all 50 states, Mexico, Europe and the Holy Lands.

Bob died on April 19, 2024, in Omaha, Nebraska. Bob is preceded in death by his son, Joseph Ostdiek, his granddaughters, Emily Ostdiek and Gwen Dancil, his parents, Hubert and Louise Ostdiek, his brothers, Al Ostdiek and Marion Ostdiek, his sister Mary Alice Meyer; brothers-in-law Dick Meyer, Jack Bradley, Dick Mitton, Dave Johnston, Don Johnston, and sisters-in-law Barb Ostdiek and Veronica Ostdiek.

Bob is survived by his wife of 65 years Janet, his children Kathleen (Frank), Theresa, Thomas (Deb), Daniel (Rebecca), Gerald, Linda (Doug), Rita (Steve), and Ken (Shannon); grandchildren Katie (Evan), Tim (Lauren) , Jacob (Emily), Matthew (Gabi), Molly (Luke), Lauren (Chris), Elizabeth, Ethan, Garett (Layne), Taylor, Chase, Grayson, Allison, Garrison, Antigone, Darwin, Megan (Derrick), Noah (Tess), Adam (Kayln), Janell (Andy); 19 great-grandchildren; siblings Glen, Joe (Helen), Lee (Joyce), Doris, Lou Ann, Pat (Bob), Larry (Diane), Julene (Rich), Allen (Nancy), Helen Johnston and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bob lived 90 years serving God, his family and community. Memorials may be made to Least of My Brethren or Knights of Columbus Council 10047.

Visitation is today (Thursday April 25, 2024) from 5 to 7 p.m. with Vigil Service at 7 p.m. Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Friday. All at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 508 Angus Street, Gretna. Interment will be in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery.   

 

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