Susan Ostrander had a loving heart and an infectious smile, her family and friends say.
She found good in everything around her, and was an all-around amazing woman, they said.
“To me, my mother was invincible. She was my rock that I leaned on and helped me to see I could do anything that I wanted to,” said her daughter, Colleen Ostrander. “She was an amazing individual.”
Susan Ostrander, 54, of Valparaiso, died Oct. 1. She was a 1976 graduate of Valparaiso High School and a Ball State graduate. She taught at Farrar Elementary School in Tennessee and had been the owner of Memories R Forever in Chesterton.
She was passionate about teaching special education and loved helping her students work through their struggles.
“She helped make all her students feel important, special and equal to their peers,” Colleen Ostrander said. “Teaching wasn’t just a job to her, it was a way of life.”
She loved spending time with her grandchildren, scrapbooking and photography. She especially loved making photo quilts for friends, family and her customers.
“Her family always joked she was born with a camera in her hand,” her daughter said.
Her children said she was an amazing role model who always put others first.
“She meant the world to me and always loved me no matter what happened,” said her son, Joey Ostrander. “She always believed in me at my lowest points and believed that I could achieve great things in life even when I didn’t believe in myself.”
Her middle child, Danielle Ostrander, said her mother had an unspoken bond with her grandchildren.
“In the short time that my daughter, Addison, had with my mother, she always recognized her and lit up when my mother walked into the room,” she said. “They had a very special unspoken bond that I will remind my daughter of when she grows up.”