Roland Henry Martin Ostwald was born on Christmas Day, 1921, the only child of Henry and Caroline (Wehrspann) Ostwald on the family farm three miles north of Whittemore, Ia. He grew up helping his parents on the farm and attended St. Paul's Lutheran School. He graduated from Whittemore High School in 1940. He then served his country in World War II from 1942-1945 as part of the Signal Corps in the U.S. Army in Germany, Italy, France, and North Africa. After he was honorably discharged from the Army, he came back to Whittemore to help on the family farm.
A wonderful first date at the Plantation Ballroom, listening to Lawrence Welk, led to a long distance courtship resulting in his marriage to Marabeth Owens on Sept. 6, 1952 in St. Louis, Mo. The couple returned to Iowa where they made their home on the family farm, north of Whittemore, living for a short while with Roland's father. March 7, 1954, they were blessed with the birth of their first child, Roland Henry Ostwald, Jr. (Hank). Elise Caroline Ostwald, was born three years later on March 10, 1957. Roland continued farming until they moved to Algona in 1989 when Elise and her husband, Gene Vaske, moved on to the family farm with their two daughters, Roxanne and Kaitlyn. He also worked for four years at Iowa Lakes Community College before officially retiring.
Roland will be remembered for his quiet, gentle nature. He had a love of playing cards, especially Illinois Rummy and Euchre. His favorite pastimes included reading and visiting the local library, as well as fishing. He also loved to go car riding, exploring out of the way places, especially the Plum Creek Dam on the Upper Des Moines River north of Algona. His family lovingly referred to him as a "packrat," someone who had great difficulty throwing things away. He always enjoyed a good nap, especially with the family dog. Never known as a picky eater, he wouldn't turn down a good meal. His latest quest was to sample every flavor of ice cream that was available at Nettie's in Algona.
Roland proudly received his 60-year pin for membership with the Whittemore American Legion, Memorial Day 2011. He was also a life-long member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Whittemore. He was fortunate to travel to Washington, D.C. In September 2010 as part of the Brushy Creek Honor Flight for World War II veterans.
Roland is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marabeth; their son, Hank and his wife, Kay of Spencer and their children: Daniel, Jake, Dylon and Joe, and Elise Vaske and her husband, Gene of Whittemore and their children, Roxanne Vaske and Kaitlyn Vaske-Wright and her husband J.J. He was preceded in death by his mother, Caroline in 1942; his father, Henry in 1963; and his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Owens in 1994.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Algona Library, Kossuth Animal Rescue, or People for Pets in Spencer.
The Lentz Funeral Home in Algona is serving the family, exclusive provider of Veterans and Family Memorial Care. Condolences may be left at www.lentzfuneralhome.com