Arlene Louise (Bjorngaard) Ostermeier, 89, passed away at Fort Memorial Hospital on March 21, 2021 after a brief illness

Arlene Louise (Bjorngaard) Ostermeier, 89, passed away at Fort Memorial Hospital in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin on March 21, 2021 after a brief illness.

Arlene was born on February 18, 1932 to Peder and Selma Bjorngaard in Wanamingo, Minnesota. She attended country school for eight years and graduated from Wanamingo High School in 1950. Arlene graduated from St. Olaf College in 1954 with a Bachelor of Arts in home economics education. She taught home economics for seven years at junior and senior high schools in Evansville, Litchfield, and St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Arlene received her M.A. at Michigan State University in December 1962 from the Department of Textiles, Clothing, and Related Arts. She completed 27 credits toward a Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology while she was teaching at Michigan State University.

Arlene married Terry Harlan Ostermeier on May 9, 1964 in East Lansing, Michigan. She taught in the Department of Home Economics at State University College of Buffalo from September 1964 to January 1967.

Arlene and Terry moved to Whitewater, Wisconsin in July 1967 where they built a house in the country on a 20-acre woodlot, and she devoted herself to raising their two sons. She later was a substitute teacher and taught evening classes for Gateway Technical College. Arlene then worked in several positions at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and retired on July 15, 2000 from the Registrar’s Office.

Arlene was a co-founder of Whitewater Gourmet Club in 1970. Her hobbies were cooking, reading political and historical books, and traveling with Elderhostel, which continued her love of learning. Beginning with her two-month tour of Europe during the summer of 1956, Arlene visited more than 20 countries. She participated in many events at the Whitewater Senior Center and lectures at Fairhaven.

Arlene was preceded in death by her mother Selma, father Peder, and brother Norris. She is survived by her husband Terry, sons Marc (Elissa Zurbuchen) and Eric (Melanie Burns), granddaughters Brita and Sara Ostermeier, brother Pervin (Lois), and sisters-in-law Eileen Bjorngaard, Judi Krablien, Boni Otto, and Kris Seefeldt.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation, 200 Southeast 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 (

Nitardy Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be made at

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