Pastor Michael Edny Ostrander, age 78 years of Niles, Michigan; husband, father, grandfather, brother, Christian Pastor, and fan of the South Bend Cubs died unexpectedly at 11:05 a.m. on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Indiana following an extended illness.
He was born on August 31, 1944 in Cheboygan, Michigan to Gerald A. and Mildred (Winegarden) Ostrander, and graduated from Rudyard, Michigan schools. He continued his education at Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo), pursuing the pre-medical curriculum, and earning his Bachelors degree. Sensing a call to move from saving lives to saving souls, he enrolled at Grace College and Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana where he earned his Master of Divinity Degree. He served pastorates at the Church of the Brethren congregations in Milford, Indiana, and Grace Brethren Churches in Harrah and Spokane, Washington, Flora, Indiana, Taos, New Mexico, Moran, Michigan, and Mifflin, Ohio before coming to the Niles Grace Brethren Church in 1995 where he served until his retirement in 2012.
Not surprisingly, “retirement” didn’t really affect the ministry of Pastor Ostrander, as he continued to serve area congregations, filling pulpit vacancies during vacations, and continuing counseling and mentoring relationships. While in full-time ministry, he extended his care to serve as a Chaplain to hospitals including the Petoskey, Michigan hospital. In retirement, he enjoyed a Bible Study on computer, and became a great fan of the South Bend Cubs minor league baseball team with his son, Greg.
Through all of his activities, finding time for his own family was important to him.
While in the Sixth-grade in Trout Lake schools he began a friendship with fellow “Yooper”, Judy Belle Funderburg. On June 13, 1964 at the Grace Brethren Church in Ozark, Michigan he married his friend with whom he was just 1 week away from celebrating the remarkable Fifty-ninth Anniversary of their wedding.
Surviving family includes his wife, Judy Ostrander and their children, Pastor Shawn (& Jessica) Ostrander of Somerset, Pennsylvania, Greg (& Mindy) Ostrander of Niles, Tonya (& Alan) Jones of Ozark, and Carrie (& Ben) Smith of North Royalton, Ohio, grandchildren Micaiah (& Anna) Ostrander, Christian Ostrander, Bekka (& Ben) Mitchell, Kaira (& Ben) Newland, Marilyn Smith, Michael Smith, Katie Smith, and Joella Smith; great-grandchildren Madisson and Maverick Mitchell, and Kinsley and Greyson Newland; and Michael’s siblings, Geri Ostrander of Rudyard, Michigan, Lynne (& Gary) Van Cleave of Denver, Colorado, and Bill Ostrander of Jackson, Michigan; and several nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Pastor Michael Ostrander will be at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at the Mishawaka Grace Brethren Church, 1715 Day Road in Mishawaka, Indiana with Pastor Shawn Ostrander and Pastor Davy Troxel officiating. The family will receive relatives and friends at the church on Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m. Committal will be private, at a later date, at the Ozark Grace Brethren Cemetery.
The services will be available online on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices/ .
Contributions in memory of Pastor Michael Ostrander may be made to the Mishawaka Grace Brethren Church, or to The Gideons International, Post Office Box 140800, Nashville, Tennessee, 37214, https://gideons.org/ . Arrangements were completed at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Pastor Michael’s life was about God and people, caring for people with God’s love, counseling folks through difficult times, mentoring friends to better times, and always introducing folks to Jesus. And the most important people were his family, all testifying to answering the command to Love God and love people.