John Charles Ostlund

July 7, 1942November 1, 2013

History teacher; Freelance writer; Sports radio talk show host; Candidate Massachusetts House of Representatives

John C. Ostlund, 71, died Friday November 1, 2013 in Pocasset, MA after furiously fighting lung cancer. He was the son of Emil C. and Doris P. Ostlund who had previously passed in 1983 and 2006. John was born in Worcester, MA, graduated with a B.A. in History from Mount Union College, a M.A in Political Science from Kent State University, and an M.S. in Communication Broadcast Journalism from Boston University. John taught High School U.S. History and Government in Massachusetts, Ohio and Delaware. He also taught at the Sewickley Academy in Pennsylvania and Blair Academy in New Jersey where he served as an assistant varsity and J.V baseball coach. He last taught at Green Fields Country Day School in Arizona and served as the Chair of the History Department. John was always involved in advising many student groups regarding History, Journalism and Sports. John was an active member of the Tahanto Association and Cawnacome Sunshine Lodge Masons. John loved collecting sports autographs and built a collection from boyhood that evolved to a business in retirement. Survivors include his sister, Judy Murphy of Tucson, AZ; his two nieces Dr. Stephanie Murphy of Portland, OR and Dr. Peggy Ward of Appleton, WI; two grandnieces Rachel and Samantha Ward; and his loving dog Jake. In lieu of flowers, contributions in John’s name can be made to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, 1931 N. Meachem Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173, 1-800-248-2862 x 6690. Visiting hours will be Wednesday November 6th from 11am to noon at which time a Masonic Service will be held. Burial to follow at Oakland Grove Cemetery, Bourne


  • Calling Hours Wednesday, November 6, 2013
  • Service Wednesday, November 6, 2013

John Charles Ostlund

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Julia Anderson

May 24, 2014

John was a colleague at Green Fields. I always enjoyed talking with him - he and I had a number of conversations about Social Justice and Civil Rights and he thoughtfully considered alternate points of view as we planned social justice lessons for our students. He was a scholar, and very real, wonderful educator.

March 26, 2014

Paul came to Green Fields as I was leaving as Head. He taught middle school history and was coordinator of the M.S. In replying in the 1993 yearbook as to how he spent his spare time, he said "I play Nintendo,feed my fish and pump iron." Good sense of humor and a wonderful guy, loved by his students, he made a mark and his family can take comfort in that. Phineas Anderson

Koren Eloul

March 25, 2014

Mr. Ostlund, who told me to call him "John" after graduating from Green Fields, was one of the most influential and challenging teachers I have ever had. He was a true educator in every sense of the word.

Brian Halbach

March 24, 2014

Former student at Green Fields. He was my history prof. He showed each student respect and treated us as adults. His lessons still reverberate within me. May he rest in peace.

Michael Hallman

November 13, 2013

John and I first met at Green Fields Country Day School. He had been a dear friend ever since. I will miss our weekly telephone conversations, but most of all I will miss John himself. He was one of the most dedicated teachers I had ever encountered, and I know his former students feel the same way. John was a kind and loving individual, and he will be sorely missed by all. Rest in peace, my friend.

Mark McQuillen

November 7, 2013

Mr. Ostlund was my Dorm Master for my three years at Blair Academy, and during my senior year, I was his prefect. He was a dear friend, a cherished advisor, and an inspiring teacher. In my first years away from home he was a life coach, instilling confidence in me. He was always there for me when I was struggling with classwork or when I was brokenhearted over a young lady. He treated me like a son.

He was a great teller of jokes, did amazing Bogart and JFK impersonations, and he was a wonderful storyteller. Did you know that he met JFK on more than one occasion and that JFK knew him by his first name?

John was a man of vision and indomitable spirit, willing to speak truth to power. I am so grateful for the excellence and courage he inspired in those who knew him. A man of great strength who joked that he was not “warm and fuzzy,” but it was pretty clear right away how generous and bighearted he was. He will be sorely missed while his example will continue to inspire.

Alex Scharnberg

November 7, 2013

The most influential teacher I had in high school, who got me to begin the lifelong process of not being afraid to look at myself critically. He had a major influence on my personal look at people and caused me to come out of my insecure shell in a HUGE way that I will never forget. I never would have sought out friends who were different than me (managing Varsity football for example) at the time, with out his influence. I had so many walls that I had made around myself to keep myself in and others out, and he caused me to rip them down. The confidence and social skills I got from him have stayed with me to college and today. I was incredibly fortunate to have him as a teacher and housemaster at Blair Academy. While I am deeply saddend by this, it is clear from the obituary that he lived a very full life.

Keith Walker

November 7, 2013

As a former student of his at Blair Academy, I remember with fondness (and now sadness) my dedicated, deep, thought-provoking, and loveable teacher / dorm master / mentor / friend, Mr. Ostlund.

Peggy Ward

November 6, 2013

William Bean

November 6, 2013

John had a deep impact on me in my high school years. I served as his prefect '90-91 at Blair Academy and we shared many great conversations, trips to the movies, and fun times. He supported my interest in history and helped me build a lifelong love of exploration, debate and curiosity and I will forever appreciate the time we spent together. His spirit, scholarship and love of life, through both its ups and downs, has served as an example to me my entire life. Not everything is easy, he was a fighter. I will miss him greatly

Condolences to the Ostlunds

William Bao Bean
wbean23 at gmail dot com