Mary Ann Ostergard (nee Norsworthy) died on November 21, 2019 after a short illness.
Mary was born on December 19, 1929 to Gail and Roscoe Norsworthy. She had two younger brothers and according to living testimony was a wonderful big sister. Mary was a member of Job’s Daughters and an Honored Queen. She graduated from Gothenburg High School and earned her degree in Education from the University of Nebraska. Chi Omega was her sorority. She had many precious lifelong friends.
Mary wed Jack Ostergard on August 10, 1951. To this union, three children were born: Greg, who died at 2 ½ months, Ann and Ross. The town girl moved to the ranch and became a rancher’s wife and fantastic mother. She taught school, took census, and sold World Book Encyclopedias. She worked cattle, fed hay crews, and grew magnificent vegetable and flower gardens. In 1976 she was elected and served as Nebraska Cowbells President. Jack and Mary were married for 65 years. In 2018 Mary received recognition for 75 years of membership in the United Methodist Church.
Jack, Mary and Ross moved into Gothenburg from the ranch in the late 90s. Appropriately, their home was close to the library and more than one bridge game. Mary loved books, frogs, National Public Radio and Boston Terriers. She shared a love of marbles with dear friend Joyce Lydic. She exercised her artistic and gardening talents, and was a diligent member of Curves, and Liberty Ladies well into the last year of her life. Mary was on the Board of Directors of the Dawson County Historical Museum for many years. In 2017 she was among the first three women inducted into the Dawson County Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame.
Mary is survived by two of her children, Ann (Mrs Carl Weekley of Lake Placid, FL) and Ross Ostergard as well as brother Jim Norsworthy, grand-nephew Noel Norsworthy, by brother-in-laws Ron (husband of Kayleen Ostergard), Larry (widower of Joan Ostergard), sisters-in-law Connie Ostergard, Sue Ostergard, numerous nieces, nephews and neighbor John Loostrom.
Predeceasing Mary were her husband Jack, her parents, son Greg, brother John Norsworthy, sister-in-law Virginia Norsworthy, nephew Douglas Norsworthy, brothers-in-law Don (husband of Sue) Jim (husband of Betty Ostergard), Dick (husband of Connie Ostergard) and nephew Steve Ostergard.
The family would like to thank Joyce Lydic and Linda Grabenstein for the love they showed Mary when she most needed them.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to the First United Methodist Church, Gothenburg Senior Center and National Public Radio.
A memorial service will be held in the spring when the tulips and hyacinths are in bloom.
A Book signing will be held Tuesday, December 3, 2019 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel with the family present from 4-6.
To send flowers to Mary's family, please visit our floral section.