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Karl Eugene Ostrem

November 3, 1952 May 2, 2020
Karl  Eugene Ostrem
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Obituary for Karl Eugene Ostrem

Karl Ostrem, age 67, of Story City, Iowa passed away Saturday, May 2, 2020 at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics.

Memorial funds will be used to purchase playground equipment in the North Park of Story City.

Karl Eugene Ostrem was born on November 3, 1952 to John and Eva (Stensland) Ostrem. Karl was raised in Radcliffe, Iowa where he graduated from Radcliffe Community Schools in 1970. Karl went on to graduate college from Westmar College in LeMars, IA in 1974. While in college, he played football and baseball, and met his wife, Rhonda (Kern). Karl and Rhonda were married June 8, 1974 in Fenton, IA. Recently married and out of college, Karl and Rhonda moved to North English where they both taught and Karl coached football until 1977. While in North English, they welcomed their first daughter, Jennifer, in 1976. The pair then moved to Eldora where they had their second daughter, Amy, in 1978, taught in the local school, and Karl continued to coach football until 1982. In 1982, the family moved to Story City where Karl changed career paths by becoming the manager of the Sports Page (Ames) for two years. In 1984, the family welcomed their third daughter, Katie. Shortly after, Karl and his brother, Doug, started Service Unlimited in 1985. Karl and Doug continued their partnership in 1991 when they purchased the Coast to Coast Hardware store in Story City (later known as True Value). Karl added pest control to his repertoire in 2001, which he continued into his final days. Karl was customer-oriented, passionate and dedicated to his work. Much of this mentality was taught to him by his mother, Eva, and he was an admirable example for his daughters. Rhonda often told him, “If you didn’t talk so much you would get done faster,” however, we all knew that speaking with his customers and community members was Karl’s passion.

In 2015, Karl was elected to the Story City City Council and continued to serve during his final days. Karl was an active and passionate member of the council. In his final days, he was proud to tell the hospital staff, “I am on the City Council, ya know.”

For years, Karl was an avid fast-pitch softball player. Known as “Oz” or “Ozzie” on the field, Karl was known for smashing a home run or two regularly. Many of the Ostrem Family vacations were based around softball tournaments. When he wasn’t on the field, he enjoyed watching his daughters, and later his grandchildren’s sporting activities. Rhonda and Karl were active participants in the Story City Couples Golf League, where in 2016 they took the title of “League Champions.” Karl was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan. He never missed a basketball or football game on TV, and enjoyed sitting in the football stands in Iowa City on many Saturdays. Karl and Rhonda enjoyed many trips to Hawkeye bowl games – most recently in San Diego.

Karl passed away on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics at the age 67 due to complications of lung disease (non-COVID-19 related).

Karl is survived by his wife, Rhonda, whom he was happily married to for nearly 46 years; children Jennifer (Jaime) Jones of Omaha, NE; Amy (Brandon) Black of Washington, IA; Katie (Casey) Royer of Bondurant, IA; and seven grandchildren Carson, Caden, Cameron Jones; Taylor and Aly Black; Easton and Wyatt Royer; and siblings Joyce, Eldon (Sharon), Steve (Linda), Denny (Tracy), and Doug (Lori) and several nieces and nephews. Karl was preceded in death by his parents.

To send flowers or plant a tree in memory of Karl Eugene Ostrem, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events





4:00 PM 5/7/2020 4:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 5/7/2020 7:00:00 PM
Karl and Rhonda Ostrem Shop

403 Broad St
Story City, IA 50248

Please be aware that all social distancing guidelines must be adhered to. Memorial funds will be used to purchase playground equipment in the North Park of Story City.

Karl and Rhonda Ostrem Shop
403 Broad St Story City 50248 IA
United States

Private Family Service




10:30 AM 5/8/2020 10:30:00 AM
Immanuel Lutheran Church

604 Lafayette Ave
Story City, IA 50248

In this unusual and unprecedented time, the funeral service will be limited to immediate family only. The funeral service will be recorded and a link will be present at and Memorial funds will be used to purchase playground equipment in the North Park of Story City.

Immanuel Lutheran Church
604 Lafayette Ave Story City 50248 IA
United States

Cemetery Details


Story City Municipal Cemetery Final Resting Place

Story City, IA

Story City IA
United States

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