Richard Alfred Osterman

Nov 26, 1929 – Aug 10, 2018


Richard A. Osterman (Dick) was born on November 26, 1929, four weeks after the start of the Great Depression. He was born in Hollywood Hospital, the closest hospital to his home in Beverly Hills, California, where his father was the head gardener on an estate. Dick was the youngest of three children born to Fred and Vera Osterman.


In 1934, the family moved to San Jose, California, where Dick’s father operated his own wholesale rose nursery. Dick was introduced to hard work at a young age as he and his brother worked during most of their non-school hours hoeing weeds around roses, learning how to create hybrid roses, and otherwise learning the trade. Dick graduated from San Jose High School in 1947, and in 1950 received an invitation from the U.S. Government for an all-expense paid trip to the Korean Peninsula where he served in the Quartermaster Corps. Upon his return from South Korea, he resumed work in the family rose business.


In 1955, Dick attended a Fourth of July party at his neighbor’s home. Dick’s neighbor – a World War II veteran and his French bride – introduced him to Josette Cavelier, the bride’s sister, who was visiting from France. Although Josette spoke almost no English, she and Dick fell in love and were married 54 days later. Their only son was born four years later.


In 1958, Dick’s father retired from the rose business and he and Dick’s mother moved to southern Oregon. Dick then went to school to become a Certified Master Watchmaker, a profession that he continued as a side business for several decades. In 1959, he and Josette traveled for several months in France, Italy and Switzerland, where Dick met Josette’s family for the first time. Upon returning to San Jose, he went to work for IBM, the original tech company in Silicon Valley, where he worked until 1973. In that year, he left IBM to start his own watchmaking shop in San Jose. Four years later, he returned to IBM where he stayed until his retirement in 1987. Much of his career at IBM was spent traveling, visiting various suppliers for the company.


Although never a pilot, Dick had a lifelong love of airplanes and attended many, many airshows, including his final one with his son in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2015. He loved classical music, French cheese, all things mechanical and had a wonderful sense of humor.


Dick and Josette put their faith in Christ in 1982 at Los Gatos Christian Church, where they attended until they moved to Washington State in 1996. They started attending Lake Sawyer Christian Church shortly after the move and attended there continuously until they left this life – Josette in 2003 and Dick in 2018. Both of their “earth suits” are interred at Tahoma National Cemetery.


Dick is survived by his son Michael, daughter-in-law Jeannie, and granddaughter Laura. As well as many nieces and nephews.


Services for Dick will be held at Lake Sawyer Christian Church at 1:00pm on Saturday, September 8, 2018. In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations be made to Vine Maple Place, P.O. Box 10923, Maple Valley, WA 98038 (



Kent Mercer
Maryville , Mo
Aug 21, 2018

RIP Uncle Dick. Tell Mom and Dad “Hi” from me

Tammie Williams
Black Diamond, WA
Aug 20, 2018

What a lovely tribute to a wonderful man. Continuing to pray for you all.

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