JAMES HENRY OSTER
It is with great sadness that the family of Jim Oster announces his sudden passing Friday, March 16, 2012.
Jim was born April 16, 1945 in Winnipeg, Man. to Margaret and Leo Oster. He married the love of his life, Diane Bilon, on June 8, 1968.
Upon graduation from Fort Frances High School, Jim attended Bemidji State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in December, 1968. Jim then began his teaching career with the Rainy River District School Board in September, 1969 and retired in 1999 after 30 years of teaching.
He was a devoted teacher; finding teaching a highly-rewarding career. Jim always thought of the school as his “second home,” and went the extra mile to ensure that his students were successful.
He also devoted much of his time to coaching football, hockey, volleyball, and basketball.
Jim enjoyed many sports: baseball, hockey, and curling. He was an avid fastball player and started playing fastball at the age of 16, pitching for the Fridge, the Ponderosa Steers, and the Merchants. He could throw a wicked “windmill” in his prime.
He also was a member of the Fort Frances Minor Hockey Association for many years and often could be seen at the arena watching hockey and enjoying the progress of his former students.
He enjoyed his coffee with the guys at “Reids,” and kept up with the town and current affairs.
His grandchildren were the bright stars in his life. He took pleasure in their development, activities, and accomplishments, and never missed an opportunity to watch them play hockey, dance, or swim. They brought him much happiness and he loved to tease them.
His granddaughter said, “Grandpa, you tease us and joke with us because you love us so much.”
Jim enjoyed the simple things in life. He believed that inner strength was essential to get through the “ups and downs” of life.
Jim is survived by his loving wife, Diane; son, Brad Oster; daughter-in-law, Lonna; and his grandchildren, Kade and Taryn.
He also is survived by his sisters, Madeline (Pat) McColman, Dorothy (Werner) Doebele, Eileen (Ed) Sobkowich, Nora Paulenko, Joan (Ken) McTavish, and Kathy (Tony) Pankuch; brothers, John (Norma), Brian (Rhonda), and Lawrence (Kathy); as well as his sister-in-law, Joan (Dennis) Krause.
Jim also will be lovingly remembered by his numerous nieces and nephews, and many special friends.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, Leo and Margaret Oster; brother, Leo Oster; and brother-in-law, George Paulenko.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 11 a.m. at St Mary’s Church in Fort Frances, with Fr. Francis Pudicherry officiating.
Lunch and a celebration of Jim’s life followed in the church basement.
The pallbearers were Terry Ogden, Stan Blasky, Roy Avis, Frank Strain, Owen Ross, Ken Christiansen, and Terry Burns.
Because of Jim’s love of sport, in memoriam donations may be made to KidSport Fort Frances, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation, c/o Green Funeral Home, P.O. Box 427, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.
Online condolences may be offered at www.greenfuneralhomefortfrances.com