Betty Freedman Ostrus

April 7, 1928 - May 4, 2021

In the early morning of May 4th, Paul, Carrie and Tim, along with their step-dad, Don, sat quietly around their dear mother as she gracefully, and peacefully, transitioned from this place to the next. The emptiness that has followed has been most acutely felt by Betty’s three children, her kind and loving husband, Don, his daughter, Mary, and son-in-law, Richard; her eight dynamic grandchildren: Annie, Emily, Haley, Christopher, Lara Mei, Andrew, Molly, and Maxwell; her son-in-law, Bob, and daughter-in-law, Natalie; her brother, Fred, and his dear wife, Sharon; her step-grandkids, Josh, Gabe, Jordan, and Connor, and an impossibly long list of friends and extended family from California and Minnesota, to Illinois and beyond. Betty was born and raised in Two Harbors, Minnesota, a small town on the north shore of Lake Superior. After climbing over one too many snow drifts, she decided to move to California where she met and married Don Freedman, a young journalist. They eventually settled in Los Altos where they raised their three children. Betty taught kindergarten and began building a social network of precious friends that would nourish her for the rest of her days. A uniquely talented artist, she mastered numerous crafts including woodworking and antique furniture refinishing and restoration. She was a vigorous and active member of the Los Altos Community, supporting local causes and events and, for many years, sang in the choir at Los Lutheran Church. She and Don travelled the world, from Tahiti to Europe, to China and all over the U.S. After 52 memorable years together, Don passed away in 2005. In 2008, she married a wonderful man, Don Ostrus, a neighbor (and our family dentist). The next 13 years were some of the happiest of her life, filled with travel, laughter and countless gatherings with her newly expanded family. She finally learned to—if not love—at least appreciate, sports. Betty treasured her friends more than anything. She loved Lake Tahoe and Carmel, lunches at Filoli, a good piece of wood and a sharp tool, waterskiing, working in her splendid garden, a BLT, a good garage sale, Holbeck-Freedman reunions, writing letters, reading books, a glass of wine, a bike ride, springtime, Christmas, and anything her grand- children cared to share with her. She was a force, never bored, and always eager to bring people together. To honor her vibrant life and make her inner schoolteacher proud, memorials may be made to Friends of the Library of Los Altos. Friends of the Library, PO Box 212 Los Altos, CA 94023-0212, or Los Altos Lutheran Church. A memorial service will be held for family on June 17th, at 3pm PST. Please contact for Zoom details if you would like to join us virtually.

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