Ralph's Story

NEW SWEDEN - Ralph L. Ostlund, 92, died July 2, 2015, at Lakewood health care facility in Waterville. He was born in New Sweden, Maine on May 30, 1923, the son of George and Esther (Nelson) Ostlund. He married the love of his life, Edith Rasmussen, on January 5, 1946.

Ralph had a zest for life. Wherever he went, he was always making new friends. As an avid skier, runner, traveler and Swedish Hop dancer, he had plenty to talk about. As a young child in the 1920's, Ralph started skiing on homemade skis made by his father. He completed hundreds of cross country ski races, running and biking events. He was an active member of the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden, and was a member of the Maine Swedish Colony and New Sweden Health Council. Ralph could be found every summer actively participating in the New Sweden Midsommar celebration, where he would often dance the night away to the Swedish Hop, Polka and Waltz, often being the last person off the dance floor. Ralph counted himself as the richest man in the world because of the love he shared with his family. He would often say "I was born into a good family, I married into a good family, and I raised a good family." He felt blessed everyday to have the love of his family.

Ralph was a potato farmer for many years. In his early years, he worked at Rasmussen Sawmill, working with his father-in-law Richard Rasmussen. Ralph also worked as a carpenter. He was employed by Birdseye, American Kitchen, Potato Starch Company, and local potato houses. In his 80s, he came out of retirement to raise organic potatoes.

He is survived by his son Jeffrey Ostlund Sr and wife Sun of Watertown, NY, and daughters, Marsha Cole and husband Garret of Bangor, and Carole Ringer and husband Robert of Waterville, eight grandchildren, James Cole and wife Sara, Anne Ostlund, Jeffrey Ostlund Jr. and wife Dacia, Kristin Cole Vogell and husband Eric, David Ostlund and fiancé Jena, Megan Ringer San Antonio and husband Anthony, John Ringer and fiancé Camille Anderson, and Sarah Ringer, six great grandchildren, Gianna and Jace Ostlund, Hannah and Abigail Vogell, and Alexander and Zachary Cole, in-laws, Virginia Erickson, June and Reginald Greenier, Gregory and Louella Rasmussen, Cynthia and Vernon Damboise, many nieces and nephews, and his cat Miss Kitty.

He was predeceased by his wife, Edith, his parents, George and Esther Ostlund, his in-laws, Richard and Lillian Rasmussen, his siblings and their spouses, Emil and Annie Nelson, Oscar and Olga Ostlund, Walter (Buck) Ostlund, Gilbert Ostlund, Maynard and Betty Ostlund, Alice and Enfred Carlson, Hilma and Arne Lauritson, Ruth and Wallace Carlson, Linnea and Dale Helstrom, his sister-in-law Lillian and husband August Johnson, and his brother-in-law Oscar Erickson.

Friends and family may call 6-8 pm, Wednesday, July 8, 2015 at Lancaster Morgan Funeral Home, 11 Clover St., Caribou. Funeral Services will be held 2pm, July 9, 2015 at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church, New Sweden with Rev. Robert Smith, officiating. Interment will be at New Sweden Cemetery following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church, PO BOX 54

New Sweden, ME 04762 or to the Maine Swedish Colony. Online condolences may be expressed at www.lancastermorgan.com.
Published in Bangor Daily News
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