Ostler, Gerald Mahlon

March 24, 2023, age 88
Gerald Mahlon Ostler, 88, loving husband, father, and friend, went home to be with his Lord and...
Gerald Mahlon Ostler, 88, loving husband, father, and friend, went home to be with his Lord and Savior, March 24, 2023.(Demaray's Jerome Memorial Chapel)
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 2:53 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JEROME—Gerald Mahlon Ostler, 88, loving husband, father, and friend, went home to be with his Lord and Savior, March 24, 2023.

He was born September 23, 1934, in Jerome, Idaho, to Gerald W. and Doris E. Ostler, and was raised on the family’s farm west of Jerome where he attended Appleton School. Gerald joined the Army National Guard as a senior at Jerome High School, then graduated in 1953. He married Donna Hite, June 19, 1954, and worked at Volco’s, the Northside Auto Store, and continued to farm.

In 1955, Gerald went to work for the U.S. Soil Conservation Service and transferred to Arco, Idaho in 1957. A year later he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where after bootcamp in Ford Ord, California, was sent to Fort Belvoir, Virginia. One year later, while in Virginia, his father passed away abruptly and he was given the option to take over his father’s upholstery business. The Army granted him a hardship discharge.

Gerald became a skilled upholsterer who crafted beautiful work, widely known in the Magic and Wood River Valleys, working with interior designers, Charles L’Herisson, and Charles Stuhlberg, among others.

For eleven years, Gerald drove bus for the Jerome School District. He was a Senior Patrolman with the National Ski Patrol at Soldier Mountain during the ‘60s and ‘70s. Gerald had a love for country music. He worked occasional Saturdays at KART radio station in Jerome, sang and played his fiddle with numerous groups and at his church.

From ski patrol, Gerald continued his EMT pursuits, and eventually purchased the Jerome Ambulance Service in 1973, which he owned and operated for ten years. He held the position of Jerome County Coroner for 27 years, and served as Jerome City Fire Commissioner for 7 years. In 1986, Gerald was elected to the Jerome City Council. In 1990, he was elected Mayor of Jerome and served two four-year terms. As Mayor, Gerald actively pursued and promoted economic development and new industry throughout the Jerome area. He was a past member of the Jerome Lions Club, Jaycees, and Jerome County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, and a life-long member of the Jerome Bible Baptist Church.

He was a beautiful snow and water skier, an Idaho champion trap-shooter, horse-shoe pitcher, and pool player. In 1998, Gerald was diagnosed with Inclusion Body Myositis, a rare progressive wasting muscle disorder, which took him from a cane to a walker, and finally to a mobile chair. He met every debilitating challenge head-on with strength and grace, and never complained.

In 2004, Gerald and Donna were recipients of the Jerome Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. After his wife’s death in 2011, Gerald became active at the Jerome Senior Center and served on the center Board.

Gerald is survived by his two daughters, Jeri (Don) Jessup, Lori (Robert) Williams, son, Zane (Lynne) Ostler, daughter-in-law, Jodi Ostler, grandchildren, Esther Williams, Walker Ostler, Tyler (Rahul) Lal, Jennie (Luke) Kilcup, Mason Ostler, Trever (Baylie) Ostler, great grandchildren, Theodore Gerald Kilcup, and Baby Girl Lal due in April, and a sister, Debbie Ostler Sievers.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Donna, his youngest son, Jay Ostler, and a sister, Janice Nakashima.

Gerald’s love for the Lord, his family, and his friends were most important to him. He was a man of integrity and loyalty, faithful and tender-hearted, a humble servant who modeled generosity, patience, and honesty, leading simply by example, sustained always by his faith in Jesus Christ.

Funeral Services will be held on Monday, April 3, 2023, at 11:00 am at Jerome Bible Baptist Church, 132 2nd Ave. E, Jerome, ID. Viewing will be held on Monday from 9:30 until service time, at the church. Burial with Military Honors will follow at the Jerome Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the care of Demaray’s Jerome Memorial Chapel, demaraysjerome.com.