Home     About Us    Services    Resources    Directions    Contact Us

Barbara F. Ostberg


Barbara F. Ostberg, 98, long-time resident Ipswich and wife of the late Richard S. Ostberg, died Thursday, December 16, 2021 in her home following a brief illness. Born in New York City on June 21, 1923, she was the only child of the late Tracy R.V. and Irene Allen Fike. Her family moved to Scarsdale, NY when Barbara was 4; she graduated from Scarsdale High School in 1940 and from Smith College, in Northampton, in 1944.  For the remainder of World War II she worked in NYC for US Naval Intelligence.  In August of 1946, she received a M. Ed. from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.  On August 24. 1946, she married Richard Smith Ostberg, also from Scarsdale and recently returned from serving in the US Navy in the Pacific.

 The two led a somewhat migratory life moving from NYC, to Massachusetts, to several towns in upstate NY, to Palo Alto, CA, back east to Sherborn MA, then Neenah, WI.   With chance and a wonderful stroke of good fortune, the Ostbergs arrived on the banks of the Ipswich River in 1973.  Barbara earned an advanced degree in Special Learning Disabilities in March 1973 and helped establish a new program in this field for the Hamilton Wenham School system.   Upon retirement in early 1980s, she and her husband spent wonderful years getting to know, cherish and participate in many facets of Ipswich life.

 Her many interests and activities in Ipswich included founder of Wednesday Walkers, Ipswich Garden Club, League of Women Voters, Town Planning Board, open space issues in Ipswich, local Bay Circuit Trail Committee, Ascension Memorial Church, Smith Book Club, writing group, beloved bridge group and many other organizations and interests.  She had wonderful neighbors and was accompanied for years by her mighty dog, Holan.

Barbara is survived by a son, Richard F. Ostberg of Ipswich; three daughters, Karin O, Montlack and her husband Marc D. of Newburyport, Kristin W. Ostberg and her husband Dale W. Welch of Ipswich, Karol D. Ostberg of Ipswich; nine grandchildren, Whitney O. Hayden, Dana S. Ostberg, Brooke O. Welch, Jensen O. Welch, Erik A. Montlack, Jenny S. Ford, Morgan W. Boselli, Peter T. Ostberg, Lee O. Welch and their amazing spouses and twenty-one awesome great-grandchildren ranging in ages from 1 to 15 years old.  

 Visiting hours will be held Tuesday, December 21, 2021 from 4 to 6 pm at Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich. Friends vaccinated and wearing facial masks are invited.  For directions and or to leave a condolence please visit www.whittier-porter.com.

A celebration of Barbara’s life will be held at 10:30 am Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at Ascension Memorial Church 31 County Street, Ipswich.  Family only is invited to this service given the need to observe pandemic safety protocols.  The service will be broadcast live allowing remote participation.  (Go to Ascension Memorial Church’s website https://www.amcipswich.org at the top click on “Worship” or go to Ascension FB page.)

Memorial contributions in Barbara’s name may be made to two of her favorite local organizations:  Ipswich Caring, PO Box 584 Ipswich, MA 01938 and Ipswich River Watershed Association, 143 County Road, Ipswich, MA 01938.


- E-mail a condolence for family members -


Copyright ©  2007 Whittier-Porter.com All Rights Reserved