Harriet Wilma Reaper Ostrander
Harriet Wilma Reaper Ostrander passed away on September 5, 2015, at Overlake Hospital four days after suffering a sudden, massive hemorrhagic stroke at the age of 91. She was laughing, happy, and sharp as a tack until the moment of the stroke. Harriet was truly the most positive and optimistic angel and loved to laugh and see the good in every person and situation. She made everyone feel good around her and only wanted health and happiness for her family and friends.
Harriet was born March 31, 1924, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Harry and Wilhelmina (Minnie) Reaper. She had many fond memories of North St. Louis, O’Bear Avenue, Grand Avenue, the streetcar to downtown, dancing, the “41” club, and the Grand Avenue water tower. Harriet graduated from Hadley Technical High School and went to work for law offices in the historic Chemical Building in downtown St. Louis.
She met her future husband, James Oliver Ostrander, Sr., when he visited his friend across the street from her house when she was 14. He was four years older than her and probably didn’t pay much attention to the little girl with a crush on him. Once Harriet hit her later teens, however, “Jimmie” took notice. Jimmie went off to World War II, and Harriet went to work for the Ordinance Depot in St. Louis to support the war effort. Once apart, their relationship deepened, and many love letters were exchanged between the two during the war. Jimmie returned from the war, resuming his job at Swift & Co., and marrying his sweetheart shortly thereafter. Once son Jim, Jr., was born, Harriet became a homemaker, and shortly thereafter Jim accepted the first of many transfers to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where daughter Karen was born.
Jim was subsequently promoted to even better positions and was then transferred from Milwaukee to Pennsylvania; then onward to California; Yakima, Washington; Oklahoma; Nebraska; and Texas. When it came time to retire, they chose to move back to Washington where their son and daughter lived, and where grandchildren were starting to be born. They were very happy in Redmond, Washington.
Harriet’s beloved “Jimmie” passed away in 1992. Eventually, Harriet, daughter Karen, David and Harriet’s three adored grandchildren moved in together in a large home in Redmond. Harriet enriched their lives tremendously and the time together was cherished by all.
Harriet is survived by daughter Karen, David (spouse) Underwood, son Jim Ostrander, Jr., Connie (spouse), grandchildren Trenton, Collin and Kolton Underwood, sister Corinne Fossell, nieces and nephews, and many other family and friends.
Services were held in St Louis, Missouri. Harriet’s final resting place is next to her beloved Jimmie at Sunset Memorial Park in St. Louis. Donations in Harriet’s name may be made online to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Please visit www.legacy.com to leave an online tribute.