Ostrum (Bradley), Idabelle - 89, died suddenly Aug. 2, 2014 in Austin, Texas, during a short hospital stay. She was born Jan. 4, 1925 in Topeka, Kan., the second child and only daughter of Aubrey J. and Neta Bernice (Davis) Bradley.
She lived in Rock Creek, Kan., until 1926 when the family moved to Blue Mound, Kan., where they lived with her paternal grandparents until 1927. They then moved to the 40-acre farm just south of Blue Mound where she and her five brothers grew up.
She attended Blue Mound Elementary her first year in 1931 and finished the next seven years at District #16, Unity School. She graduated from Blue Mound High School in 1942 and received her degree in liberal arts from the University of Kansas (KU) in 1945 while living in Watkins Scholarship Hall.
She taught in the Eureka, Kan., High School for one year and in the Blue Mound High School for one year, attending classes at KU during the summers and returning for the 1947 school year to complete her master’s degree from the School of Education in June 1948.
While back at KU, she met Wilbur G. Ostrum of Russell, Kan.; they were married in Lawrence on June 6, 1948 where they lived until Will finished his law degree in 1951. Idabelle was housemother at Hopkins Hall during the year she was in graduate school.
Will and Idabelle moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1951 where Idabelle worked downtown at the General Adjustment Bureau. They relocated to Irving, Texas, in 1953 where she taught school, mostly 4th grade at Plymouth Park Elementary, until her first child Stan was born in 1958. Two more children followed, Lisa in 1960 and Kris in 1963.
The family moved to Houston, Texas, in 1965 where she was very active in her children’s schools and other activities, including leading a Brownie troop for several years. She was a member of St. Luke’s United Methodist church for almost 50 years, and enjoyed participating in various church groups and activities. She loved to travel, made sure her children spent plenty of time with their relatives back in Kansas during the summers, and rarely missed a wedding, graduation, or other family event if she could figure out a way to get there. She was a great cook who loved to entertain, and was especially fond of holidays and large family gatherings. She was always the happiest when she was doing something for someone else.
Idabelle suffered a stroke in June 2003 that paralyzed her right side, leaving her wheelchair bound for the rest of her life. A fall in 2007 further limited her mobility. Will was determined to take care of her at home, and with the help of her wonderful caregivers Melba Skinner and Paul Henington, he was able to do that. She enjoyed reading, watching movies and television (especially KU sports), talking on the telephone, and visits from family and friends. In September 2012, she and Will (and Melba) moved to Austin, Texas, to be near Stan. There, she especially enjoyed watching wildlife in their yard, going places in her wheelchair-equipped van, and continuing to have friends and family visit.
She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Will; one son, Stan Ostrum and wife Robbin Trusty of Austin, Texas; two daughters, Lisa (Ostrum) McGee and partner Bruce Werner of Centennial, Colo., and Kris (Ostrum) Amrine and husband Don of Citrus Heights, Calif.; three granddaughters, Alyson Amrine, Katie McGee, and Sara McGee; and one great-granddaughter Sylvanas L’Italien. She is also survived by her elder brother Aubrey J. Bradley Jr. of Wichita, Kan., and younger brother H. Keith Bradley of Olathe, Kan.; sisters-in-law Audrey, Bev, Jane, Vickie, June, Renee, and Sari; brothers-in-law Dean and Richard; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins including her second cousin Mary Lou (Davis) Margrave of Houston, Texas, who was like a sister to Idabelle throughout her life.
She was preceded in death by her brothers Bill, Don, and Wayne, and her niece Diane.
She was cremated and a memorial gathering was held in Wichita, Kan., with family and friends on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2014. Another memorial gathering to be held in Houston, Texas, is planned for early 2015.
Idabelle loved wildflowers, especially the sunflowers of Kansas and the bluebonnets of Texas. The family has dedicated a bench to her memory at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. Donations in her name can be made to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin, TX 78739 or at www.wildflower.org, or to any other charity of your choice whose work benefits others.
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