Thursday, July 18, 2024

Iris Ann Ostrom, 87

| January 17, 2024 1:00 AM

“Every varying hue of every beautiful thing on earth; the teints of heaven’s own iris.”  

~Irish poem

What would Grandma do? That’s what the grandchildren of Iris Ostrom would ask when facing a dilemma or moral quandary in life, wanting to do the right thing. Because Iris always did the right thing.

Iris passed away Jan. 7, 2024, in Kalispell. She was born May 8, 1936, in San Pedro, California, to Etcel “Bill” and Louise Wilhelm. The family moved often through Bill’s work, but settled in Whitefish, where Iris graduated from high school. She attended the University of Montana, pledging with the Delta Gamma sorority.

Upon her return to Whitefish, Iris met G. George Ostrom on a blind date. George claims he was immediately smitten and determined to make this beautiful woman his wife. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on April 12, 2023.

Together, George and Iris raised four children with their extraordinary combination of love, energy, maturity, adventure and fun. They traveled the world, engaged deeply in their community, and lived life to the fullest with their family and many dear, life-long friends.

While she had a number of different jobs as a young woman and again once her children were older, Iris’s calling was that of wife, mother and homemaker. She was George’s righthand gal in all of their exciting business enterprises, and he would be the first to agree that “Behind every great man is a great woman.” 

Iris was very involved in her children’s lives, attending all of their school and extracurricular activities, making Halloween and dance recital costumes, and supporting each of them in their endeavors. She was active in her church, PEO, PTA and various clubs and organizations, all the while being the wind beneath her family’s wings, with her quiet, gentle strength.

Iris loved movies, was well-read and had a wonderful sense of humor — and appreciated that in her husband and family. She was a gifted pianist, cook and seamstress. Words like wise, warm and kind have often been used to describe her. She was always ready to greet her family and friends (or even strangers) with a smile and the best hug ever. Iris embraced her loved ones fully and without judgment. Her goodness and openheartedness defined the loving, nurturing woman she was.

Iris was preceded in death by her eldest son Shannon, her parents, sister Carolyn Owens, and brother William “Bud” Wilhelm.

She is survived by her husband George, daughters Heidi (Scott) Duncan and Wendy (Shawn) Ostrom-Price and son Clark. Iris lives on in the hearts of her three grandchildren, Tana and Parker Duncan and Wyatt Price. She was also blessed with two great-grandsons, Zenovio “Novi” Negron and Aridian “Ridi” Price. She leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

No services are planned. The family asks that if Iris touched your life in any way, please take a moment to remember and think of her fondly. And smile.

Notes of condolences for the family can be made at