Hilvie Elizabeth (Benson) Ostrow Obituary
Ostrow, Hilvie Elizabeth Benson, 100, died on July 27, 2022. A people person, Hilvie enjoyed sitting in the lobby of Episcopal homes, chatting with residents and staff. She shared her joy and smile with everyone she met. People fascinated Hilvie. Hilvie’s talents were many. She was a musician, with a beautiful voice and she played the piano brilliantly even after her 100th birthday. She enjoyed all genres of music, but especially loved classical and sacred. His real passion was opera. Hilvie taught French and Spanish before getting married and taught ELL students. Hilvie and Aaron have traveled extensively and have a particular interest in Central America, taking many study trips. They were lifelong learners and lifelong volunteers, evidenced by their time together as Peace Corps volunteers in Estonia. Mom wrote insightful poetry, spoke about peace for Clergy and Laity Concerned and Women Against Military Madness, and wrote a master’s thesis on Soren Kierkegaard for the Master of Divinity she earned at age 60. Devoutly true to his Lutheran heritage, Hilvie’s father was the last president of Augustana Lutheran Church. She was an ecumenist in every way and served as president of Church Women United. She explored questions of theology all her life. She had a strong sense of egalitarian principles and human rights, respecting the president of the company no more than the person tending her lawn. Hilvie cared deeply about the natural world, contributing to many organizations working for environmental protection such as Audubon and Sierra Club. She was also a philanthropist, giving generously to Grace University Lutheran Church, Lutheran Social Service, Luther Seminary, homeless projects, poverty, hunger, and health care projects. globally and nationally. She has supported work to stop drunk driving through Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Among his heroes were: Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King and Ruth Youngdahl Nelson. She admired those who stood up for what they believed in and she taught the same values to her children and grandchildren. In conversations with his friends since his death, his humility is something that is frequently mentioned. She believed in others and liked to affirm people. It brought him the deepest joy of his life. Hilvie loved good food, good humor and good conversation. She loved baseball, birds, dogs, detective stories and trees. In a hundred years, she discovered many passions and we cannot list them all here. After Aaron’s death, Hilvie became a palliative care volunteer and also played the piano for people in long-term care. She was an active member of her beloved Grace University Lutheran Church. Wherever she went, she joined committees and participated in education groups such as the Socrates Club, Great Decisions and the Human Rights Commission for Golden Valley. In her later years, she lived at Becketwood Senior Cooperative in Minneapolis and at Iris Park Commons Episcopal Home in Saint Paul. These experiences with residents and staff kept her healthy, mentally alert and grateful in her later years. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to all those who helped her with such kindness and benevolence during her last years. Her long life was filled with commitment, fun and above all love. She was predeceased by her parents, Oscar and Elfie (Hanson) Benson, her brother Philip Benson (Janis) and her husband Aaron Ostrow. Hilvie’s children are Laurel Ostrow, Karen Linnea Benson (Robert Callan) and Paul Ostrow (Julie Mattson Ostrow). She was immensely proud of her DREAM team of five grandchildren – Dylan, River, Emily, Aaron and Matthew. A celebration of life is scheduled for August 27 at 10 a.m. for visitation and social time, followed by the celebratory service. A light lunch will follow at Grace University Lutheran Church at 324 SE Harvard Street, Minneapolis. In lieu of flowers, please donate to one of Hilvie’s favorite organizations or the Episcopal Homes Foundation.
Posted on July 31, 2022