August 27, 1922 – May 30, 2019
Jack Osterhouse was the youngest of three children, born in Detroit, Michigan. His parents were first-generation immigrants from the Netherlands of Dutch descent. Due to his father’s poor health, Jack gained his strong work ethic by ensuring that all the needs of their farm were met. Although he had many careers throughout his life, Jack would always say that farming and fishing was his first choice. He met the love of his life, Dorothy, at a roller-skating rink, where she fell for him (after he tripped her, and then caught her).
Even though he was drafted into the Army, he refused to leave the country without marrying Dorothy. So, while in training they married near the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. His self-taught mechanical skills enabled him to be assigned to Army Ordinance in Patton’s third army. When fighting soldiers advanced, Jack’s troop followed to make repairs of the equipment as needed. This gave Jack the opportunity to open the gates of a concentration camp and offer the starving prisoners pineapple (because he kept the chocolate for himself). Further, his honesty and dependability put him in charge of caring for and distributing supplies, which gave him the unique responsibility of adding the stars to Patton’s helmet. To pass the time, he would play cards with the other soldiers and perfected his ability to “cheat fair”, and then send his winnings home to his family. Ran the Race with Endurance
Once returning home, Jack and Dorothy settled in Saginaw, Michigan and later obtained a vacation home in Houghton Lake where the family would spend summers together. Jack began working as a tool and die designer and later earned a BA in Mechanical Engineering. Dorothy urged him to go back to school to get his Master’s in psychology and then he began teaching and counseling struggling high-school teens in hopes of a career in drafting. When Dorothy’s health began to degrade due to Alzheimer’s disease. Jack insisted on being her primary care giver for 10 years, viewing this service as an honor and privilege.
For his retirement, Jack moved to Texas where he first lived with his daughter and then his son for 9 years. While living with his son, Jack began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. At the age of 91, he showed his love for God and his dedication to living by Bible principles by getting baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Jack was a man of strength, wisdom, and integrity. He was always ready for a laugh. He never stopped loving his wife and would always find ways to care for others. He passed his wisdom on to others without knowing it and he found it easy to be strong. All who knew him were thankful for the opportunity to share in his life. It will be a wonderful day when he and his wife are resurrected in full health on paradise earth and we are able to continue to enjoy sharing our lives with them. He finished the race of life with his integrity and loyalty to Jehovah God.
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June 8, 2019
Jack Osterhouse attended 3rd Reformed Church in Kalamazoo Michigan for over 14 years. He was also a member of Countryside Presbyterian Church in Saginaw Michigan for over 10 years and a member of Houghton Lake Methodist Church for 15 plus years. He was a draftsman at Borg-Warner in Kalamazoo Michigan . After the tragic death of his eldest son, he became a teacher with a major in Industrial Arts from Western Michigan University. Later he went on for a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Central Michigan University. He was a general High School counselor and then specialized in Career Opportunities for youth in Saginaw, Michigan. He earned the rank of Private when he was drafted during World War II. ( He served in the European Campaign in the Ordinance Division.) He cared for an ailing wife (with Alzheimer disease) for 15 years with the help of his daughter and two grandchildren. Jack and his wife Dorothy had three children. Jack’s favorite virtue was truth! The sum total of Jack’s life was the entire journey and not the last few years.