"Concerned with the General Welfare of the Deaf of Iowa"

Updated July 4, 2017


Willard Osterkamp

January 2, 1926 -- March 23, 2017

Willard Wesley Osterkamp, formerly of Cedar Rapids, passed away at Lutheran Living in Muscatine, on Thursday, March 23, 2017. He was 91. A memorial service will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 2, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 2204 26th St. NW, Cedar Rapids. A private burial will take place at Wilcox Cemetery in Jones County.

Willard was born Jan. 2, 1926, in Auburn, Iowa. He attended the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs. He was a star athlete and participated in basketball, football and track. There he met his childhood sweetheart, Eleanore, at the age of 9. The couple were married on March 8, 1945, in Hiawatha, Kan. They recently celebrated their 72nd anniversary.

Willard was employed by Quaker Oats for 43 ½ years, where he was known by many as "Doc." His hard work ethic was evident not only in his secular work but by the way he took care of his home, his vehicles and his yard. He was a craftsman and very much enjoyed tinkering in his basement workshop. He experienced true joy in sharing with others his faith and the hope held out for the future. He was baptized as one of Jehovah's Witnesses on July 23, 1953, at Yankee Stadium in New York City.

Willard will be dearly missed by his wife, Eleanore of Muscatine; his daughter, Lora McBath of Cedar Rapids; his son, Randy Osterkamp of Houston, Texas; his granddaughter, Helen Beard and her husband, Jason of Muscatine; and two great-grandsons, Gage and Reise.

Willard was preceded in death by his parents, George and Belva Osterkamp; and his siblings, Nellie Newhard and Herbert, Wilbur, Herman and Wilford Osterkamp.

Thanks to the Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Edmond Moon and Hal Poch for the information.