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Deacon Ted Ostrom, longtime diocesan official, dies at 85

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Deacon Roger T. (Ted) Ostrom, a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander who went on to serve the Arlington diocese in many key roles, died May 31 at age 85.

“He was very devoted,” said Father Alexander R. Drummond, pastor of St. Michael Church in Annandale, where Deacon Ostrom served for 13 years.

Even after Deacon Ostrom retired from active ministry in 2014, he continued to assist at Mass until a few years ago when he became too frail. “Even so, he was at Mass every day without fail,” Father Drummond added.

Deacon Ostrom was born Nov. 9, 1935, in Cleveland, Ohio. After serving as a chief electronic technician in the Coast Guard, he was accepted to officer candidate school and was commissioned in 1962.

He was ordained to the permanent diaconate by Arlington Bishop Thomas J. Welsh March 22, 1975. Following his ordination, he served as a deacon for the Coast Guard until his retirement in 1978 with the rank of commander.

The same year, Bishop Welsh appointed Deacon Ostrom director of Christ House in Alexandria, a position he held until 1984. He served as assistant director and then director of the diocesan Office of Family Life (1984-99) and served two terms on the Diaconal Council (2003-05 and 2012-15).

His diaconate assignments in the Arlington diocese were at St. Ambrose Church in Annandale (1978-2001) and St. Michael (2001-14).

Deacon Ostrom’s wife, Patricia Bruce Ostrom, preceded him in death. He is survived by his five children: Gregory S. Ostrom (Ridgecrest, Calif.), Christine M. Ostrom (Cornelius, N.C.), Judith A. Atkinson (Fredericksburg), Peter L. Ostrom (Woodbridge) and Eileen E. Siegel (Woodbridge) as well as 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He also is survived by three of his eight siblings, Burt Thomas “Tom” Ostrom (Willoughby, OH), John David “Jack” Ostrom (Cleveland, OH), and Margaret Ellen “Peggy” Sapara (Lebanon, OH).

Funeral arrangements are pending at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021