In Memory

Mel Ostlund

Mr. Ostlund aka "Lundy" passed away a few years ago. He was the Commercial Art teacher and was loved and cherished by so many of his students. He had a biting wit and a deadpan sense of humor that defined him. He was only in his young seventies when he passed.

Mel held court in the famed teachers’ lounge- known by several principals as a seminary of sedition! There were some great people who sat around that table- old sages and young fools! No one escaped his barbs, his wit, his wisdom, or his kindness. There is nothing he wouldn’t do for you. I’m so thankful that I got to spend my first ten years in this profession listening to stories and debates in that dingy, smoke-filled room…or sitting around a bonfire in Barney Andrew’s back yard with teachers and principals alike…

It was Mel’s stories that I remember the most- everyone had a favorite- it usually involved Mel telling on himself, like the time he chopped down a tree…landing squarely on the hood of the family car. Nancy, of course, watched the whole episode, responding, “Nice going, Mel.” I think it took him longer to tell the story than to cut the damn tree down!

~ Jim McGinnis

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09/14/10 03:44 AM #1    

Diana Lyles (1980)

 Whenever Commercial Art fell on the first period in the morning, Mr. Ostlund would call my house at 6:30 in the morning and ask my mom if I was up. (It used to drive him nuts because I was always late.) She would assure him that yes, I was up and in the shower. What she didn't know is that I would sleep standing up in the shower until the water got cold and then get out. So, yes I was up and in the shower, but I wasn't awake. :)

11/10/10 03:24 PM #2    

Matt Merkel (1981)

 Mr. Ostlund was my teacher, mentor and friend and probably had the biggest impact on my life of anyone at Mel-Hi.  I had 3 consecutive periods of independent study commercial art every morning of my senior year – basically, I created my own assignments and had full reign over my schedule and work load – great training for what has become a 30 year career in advertising design. Mr. Ostlund encouraged me to apply for a scholarship to the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, which I won and which paid for my tuition in full. I'm so sorry to hear he has passed – I am eternally grateful for all he did for me.

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