ST. IGNATIUS — Tony McIlvain Ostheimer, 82, of St. Ignatius and Missoula passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at home, surrounded by family.
He was born on Jan. 27, 1936, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to Alfred James Ostheimer III and Ruth Eloise Magargle.
He attended the Booth School in Devon, Pennsylvania, the Episcopal Academy Middle School in Overbrook, Pennsylvania, and Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusettes, and then Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusettes, graduating with a BA degree in economics and minors in French, geology, and Marine Corp Military Science. He was commissioned second lieutenant in the USMC, won the Merritt A. Edson Trophy for marksmanship, graduated from Combat Engineer School, was deployed to Lebanon, Cuba and Vieques, Puerto Rico, and was honorably discharged after 12 years total service at the rank of captain.
Tony Ostheimer and Mary Bacon “Polly” Parke were married June 22, 1957, at Downingtown Friends Quaker meeting in Pennsylvania.
Following his service in the Marine Corps, Tony started a career with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and was awarded his Chartered Life Underwriter degree in 1962. In 1974, Tony and Polly moved to St. Ignatius where they continued to raise their children on the family ranch. Tony loved gardening, restoring John Deere tractors, flood irrigating pastures, pulling weeds and preserving open spaces. He loved liberty, his country, his family, and his Creator.
Tony was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Dr. John Ostheimer; his older half-sister, Barbara St. Georges; and his wonderful companion of 54 years, Polly.
Tony is survived by his four children: Carolina Jesus of Hawaii, Edward McIlvain Ostheimer (Shawn), Richard Knight Ostheimer (Nan) and William Bacon Ostheimer (Kelly) of Montana; his eight grandchildren: Marlee, Kailun (Heather), Ashley (Clint), Joshua (Amber), Sai (Alana), Christopher (Lindsey), Colby, Abigail and 10 great-grandchildren: Rylie, Gavin, Ellis, Caius, Silas, Aravah, Hendrix, Marlena, Isaac, and Jedidiah. Tony is also survived by his sister, Martha Luster of Oregon; his half-sister, Margaret Hill of New Mexico, and his half-brother, James Ostheimer of Maine, as well as many wonderful nieces, nephews, cousins, and “in-laws.”
A memorial will be held on Tony and Polly’s wedding anniversary, Saturday, June 22, 2019, at the Western Montana Veterans Cemetery, followed by a private family gathering at the ranch.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his memory be made to: Miracle of America Museum in Polson, Free Cycles Missoula, or Hospice of Missoula.