Gerald 'Jerry' Ostrander

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Gerald “Jerry” Ostrander, 75, of Prairie du Chien, Wis., passed away Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023, at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis. He was born May 17, 1948, in Prairie du Chien, to Bobbie Jack (Bob) Ostrander and Betty Kramer. After his graduation from Prairie du Chien High School in 1966, Jerry enlisted in the United States Air Force, serving as a security police and sentry dog handler from 1966 to 1973, during the Vietnam War. He served two consecutive tours in Ubon, Thailand and Phuket, Vietnam. In total, he proudly served 11 years with the United States Air Force. 


Following his military service and upon returning home to Prairie du Chien, Jerry was united in marriage to the love of his life, Janet Williamson, on July 22, 1978, in a garden ceremony on Wauzeka Ridge. Together, they had three childre: Jack, Brent and Katrina. Jerry worked as the city dog handler, as a salesman at Design Homes and as a part-time police officer until he began his long career with the Prairie du Chien Police Department from 1979 to 2003. In those years, he advanced through many positions and ranks, ending his career as the department’s detective, specializing in narcotics investigations. He was well known within the community as a stern, fair and compassionate officer, gaining the trust and respect of those he encountered. 


Jerry was a man of integrity; he left the world a better place by building professional and personal relationships in Wisconsin, Iowa and throughout the nation. Jerry was a natural leader, father and friend who influenced the lives of many. Most importantly his two sons, who both became law enforcement officers, and his daughter, who graduated with a degree in criminology and works for the state of Iowa.


Jerry was his family’s hero, teaching them to work hard, be reliable and treat people with respect. He often said a person is only as good as their word. Jerry was known for his quick wit and catchy comebacks. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and playing cards. He and Jan would often be on the course golfing with friends. You could later find him attending his grandchildrens’ sporting events, cheering them on from the sidelines and attending music recitals. 


He is survived by his wife, Janet, of Prairie du Chien; three children, Jack (Stephanie) Ostrander of Garnavillo, Brent (Kristen) Ostrander of Strawberry Point and Katie (Lucas) Bee of lndianola; along with nine grandchildren, Drake, Audrey, Emery, Avery, Adalyn, Griffin, Kamden, Rowan and Wyatt; as well as two siblings, Kevin (Tina) Ostrander of Manchester and Kelly Ostrander of Prairie du Chien, Wis. 


He was preceded in death by his father Bobbie Jack Ostrander, step-mother Carolyn Ostrander and biological mother Betty Kramer. 


Visitation will be Tuesday, Aug. 8, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Prairie du Chien, Wis., and one hour before services at the church on Wednesday.


Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Prairie du Chien, Wis., with Rev. Hillary Burns-Kite and Rev. Miranda Klosterboer as the officiants.


Burial with military rites will follow at National Cemetery, Eastman, Wis.


Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Prairie du Chien, Wis., is helping the family with the arrangements.

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