MARQUETTE, MI – William Ostwald, former hockey player and retired Marquette Area Public Schools administrator (affectionately known as Dr. O.) died peacefully at his home on January 29, 2018, at the age of 73 in the loving care of his family.
Bill was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on April 11, 1944, to Margaret (Kerr) and Henry Ostwald. He dropped out of high school to play professional hockey, moving to the United States in the process. After signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and later playing for the Johnstown Jets, Bill moved to Marquette to play for the Iron Rangers. Despite his lack of a high school diploma, he graduated from Northern Michigan University with a BA in Social Work/Psychology. During his early years in Marquette, he served as Jr. Hockey Director, Probation Officer, and he coached a Bantam Team to a Michigan State Championship. In 1972 he earned a Master’s Degree in Guidance & Counseling. He became a counselor for the Marquette Area Public Schools in 1975. He was promoted to assistant principal in 1982 and finally became the Principal of Graveraet Middle School in 1989. It was this last position, as Principal of Graveraet, that he was nominated by his staff and received the U.P. Middle School Administrator of the Year, an award for which he was extremely proud. He always commented that he had the best teachers in his school.
While working for Marquette Area Public Schools, Bill earned a specialist degree in educational administration from NMU, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Upon his retirement from Marquette Area Public Schools, his staff surprised him with his one missing degree: a high school diploma from Silver Heights Collegiate in Winnipeg, class of 2003. After he retired from Graveraet, Bill was an adjunct professor and student teacher supervisor at Northern Michigan University and an advisor/consultant to the Middle School in Hancock until being diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia.
Bill has often been described as being “larger than life”, and he is considered by many to be a Marquette icon. As a hockey player, he was known for playing a smart but tough game (he never lost a fight on the ice) and as an administrator, he was known for being fair and firm. Bill was a charismatic leader, a visionary, and the kind of guy who would always stop to hold open a door, or to help someone across the street. He was unimpressed by money or prestige, and treated everyone with respect.
The love of Bill’s life was his wife, Tina. They were married on March 30, 1973, when he popped into her office and asked, “Wanna get married?” They married on their lunchbreak, and returned back to the Skills Center (where they were both teaching at the time) for a meeting with big grins on their faces. They were both very social, always up for adventure, and made the most of their almost 45 years together. Bill and Tina spent time in Ethiopia as part of the Peace Corps (during the military coup that overthrew Haile Selassie), spent summers traveling out West with their children, and were always religious about their date nights.
Bill enjoyed his time with his family and friends at the camp that he built on Lake Independence. Bill loved teasing, practical jokes, waterskiing and anything that he could turn into a competition (which was basically everything). It’s rumored that he would sneak down in the dark of night, armed with a water gun, and wreak havoc on his children’s campfire attempts.
He will be missed. For his kindness, his compassion, his keen intelligence and wit, and for his zest to live life to the fullest.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife, Tina, by his three children Adam (Krysta) Ostwald of Calgary, Alberta; Shana (Mike) Draugelis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Scotti (Zachary) Oja of Marquette. In addition, he will be missed by five grandchildren: Jakob and Zachary Ostwald, Raines and Pax Draugelis, and Greenlea Oja.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Friday, February 2, 2018, at Swanson-Lundquist Funeral home from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. followed by a champagne toast and celebration. A Funeral service officiated by Kevin Thew Forester will be held at St. Paul Episcopal Church, Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation hour before the service starting at 10 a.m. Pallbearers will be his son Adam, sons-in-law Mike Draugelis and Zachary Oja, Friends Jim Golden, Steve Lindberg, Sam Oslund, Jim Schneider, and Mike Woodard. (The kindness and support of these men over the last ten years, as Bill fought the decline of Lewy Body Dementia, is appreciated beyond words.)
In lieu of flowers, donations to the William Ostwald Scholarship Fund may be made. Please make checks out to Marquette Area Public Schools Education Foundation, if making donations online, be sure to specify in the notes that the funds go to the William Ostwald Scholarship Fund.Visit the website at http://mapseducationfoundation.weebly.com/
The Swanson-Lundquist Funeral home is serving the family where condolences may be expressed online at www.swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com