Thinker 08

Colleen Jo (Gabriel) Onnen Ostrem

March 2, 1928 ~ October 19, 2020 (age 92)


In Loving Memory of

Colleen Jo Onnen Ostrem

Colleen Ostrem was born on March 2, 1928 in Rockwell City, Iowa to Eldon and Mary Holt Gabriel.  She grew up in Rockwell City and graduated from Rockwell City High School.  Colleen then attended Iowa State Teacher’s College in Ames receiving her Teacher’s Certificate, she then taught country school.  On December 31, 1946 she and Deane Onnen were married in South Sioux City, NE. Cherokee, IA was the family’s home for most of their married life.  Colleen earned a Master of Arts in Social Work from Iowa State University. She wrote a weekly parenting column for many years called Practical Parenting.  She later worked at the Children’s Unit of the Cherokee Mental Health Institute as well as teaching at Buena Vista College and later served as a hospice social worker.  Following retirement she and Deane moved to Mesa, AZ.  After Deane’s death in 2010 she married Tait Ostrem and they made their home in Mesa later moving to Tucson, AZ.  Tait passed away in late 2018.  Colleen was a lifelong learner.  She enjoyed formal and informal learning, including traveling the globe with Tait.  She read the paper daily and loved keeping up on the stock market.  She was a seamstress having created beautiful quilts and dresses for her daughters and granddaughters.  Colleen was a letter writer and was corresponding with friends and family until the very last month of her life.  She wrote a family accounting of genealogy tracing the family roots to the 1700’s.  Colleen loved a good hand of bridge and pinochle, playing into her 90’s.  In February 2019 Colleen moved to Poplar Creek Assisted Living in Luverne, MN to be near her daughter, Laurie.  Due to failing health in May 2020 Colleen moved to Our House Hospice Home.  She passed away there on Monday, October 19, 2020 at the age of 92.

Survivor include her daughter, Laurie Jensen and her husband, Curt of Slayton, MN, daughter-in-law, Susie Onnen of Nixa, MO, 8 grandchildren and their spouses, Mitzi and Scott Wehner, Jamey and Wendy Onnen, Jeremy and Andrea Onnen, and Becky Onnen, Kelly Schnoebelen, Corie and Renato Frassen, Peter Jensen and Samira Rockler and Sarah and Logan Anderson, 15 great-grandchildren, Tait’s four children and their spouses, Mary Jondrow and Jim Ostrem, Jenny and Richard Lock, Tim and Dawn Ostrem, and Fred Ostrem and Kim Feeman, three siblings and their spouses, Marge and Floyd Bihrer of  Sac City, IA, Donna and Hugh Robinson of Naples, FL, and Carl Gabriel of Potosi, MO.  She is preceded in death by her parents, husbands, Deane Onnen and Tait Ostrem, son, Tracy Onnen, daughter and son-in-law, Claudia and Richard Ryner, grandson-in-law, Jay Schnoebelen and sister, Opal Gabriel.  Interment will be the Rosehill Cemetery in Rockwell City, IA.  In lieu of flowers memorial may be directed to Murray County Hospice.

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Family to do services at later date

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