Cover photo for Edward Anderson Ostertag's Obituary
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Edward Anderson Ostertag

May 2, 1949 — April 5, 2023

Edward Anderson Ostertag

Edward Anderson Ostertag

May 2, 1949 – April 5, 2023


Ed was born in Pensacola, FL on May 2, 1949. He was the second son of Naval officer Carl, and Joyce Ostertag. Ed and his brother Carl (Bud) lived the Navy life, and soon began their more than decade of many moves around the United States. After a short stint in Corpus Christi, TX, they moved to Bremerton, WA where they welcomed their first sister Susan, then Monterey to welcome sister Janet, Boston, MA to welcome Margaret (Meg), and Oak Harbor, WA to welcome Cathy. That’s right - four little sisters that couldn’t have asked for a better big brother. He took them to the drive-in, car rides, and McDonald’s, paid them in quarters or Dr Pepper’s for his coveted back rubs, and would lie outside under a starry night to point out constellations to them. He was the best. The moving didn’t stop at Oak Harbor either. Next was Hawaii in 1959, Rhode Island in 1960, and McLean, VA in 1961 where they would stay for 7 years. Ed graduated from McLean High School and left for college at the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) before ending up in Southern California where he would work a few miscellaneous jobs, including fixing Volkswagen Beetles and Buses in Santa Monica, a job he still talked about into his 70’s. Ultimately, he decided that he needed to further his education, so he made the decision to attend Cal State Northridge for engineering.


In 1976, Ed didn’t realize it, but he would begin a career at Teradyne that would go down as one of the most impactful in the history of the company. After obtaining his electrical engineering degree from Cal State Northridge, he started off working as an electrical engineer alongside some of his best friends. Outside of work, they would go backpacking, camping, and probably drink lots of beer. At work, his relationships with both his good friends and his coworkers helped him become one of the most well-liked and valued employees at the company. Throughout his first several years at Teradyne, his one-of-a-kind mind and ingenuity helped the company produce some of the most successful automated chip test equipment in the industry during that era.


In 1981, Ed, once again, didn’t realize it but he would make one gesture that would change the course of his life forever: He asked Mikki on a date to TGI Friday’s (that’s the best you could do, dad?!). Mikki, who would become his wife of 41 years, was working in the circuit board assembly department of Teradyne. For anyone that knows Mikki, she has almost no interest in technology, so the fact that she was working at a company devoted to being on the cutting edge of technology is a miracle in and of itself. God had a plan to bring these two together and he wasn’t going to let anything get in the way. Ultimately, she accepted the date request and the two of them quickly became inseparable. They got married on February 23rd, 1982, in Lake Tahoe by Reverend Love (is that your real name?) and wouldn’t wait long before having their first child, Kerry, in December 1982. Two and a half years later in May 1985, Jeffrey was born. By this time, the family had settled into a little home in Thousand Oaks, CA – an area that would become their home base for decades.


During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Ed became a master juggler between family and work lives. Not only was he one of the best fathers to Kerry and Jeff, he was also one of the best engineers at Teradyne. He was such an asset to the company that they gave him no choice but to promote to engineering management. Throughout these decades, Ed found a way to become both a prestigious engineering manager and a father that his children looked up to and adored immensely. This is the type of person that Edward was – he knew when to be professional, when to be silly, when to be serious, when to be loving, and when to be a perfect combination of all these things. That is what made him one of the best people in the world.


Outside of work, the family enjoyed countless trips across the western US including camping in the Sierra Nevada’s and coastline of California, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, Oregon, and Washington. Trips like these meant long car rides which were filled with the same songs and jokes over, and over, and over again. Some incredible memories were spent together during this time, including tent camping in grizzly bear wilderness, driving around looking for all types of wildlife, searching for shells in the tide pools of the west coast, and skipping rocks in countless lakes and rivers. He was also very supportive of Kerry’s horseback riding hobby and Jeff’s interests in fishing and sports when his children got older. At their home in Santa Rosa Valley (1997-2006), there was enough room for horses and a bass boat. Kerry and Mikki spent countless hours at the barn with the horses thanks to Ed’s generosity. He even got his own horse, Honey, and saddled up for trail rides with Kerry through the canyons. He even learned to canter! Jeff and Ed went fishing at the local lakes about once a month and enjoyed some core memories together like listening to The Beatles, sleeping in the back of his tiny Ford Ranger in the lake campgrounds, catching more sticks and branches than actual fish, and spending almost as much time at the floating bathrooms as they spent with their lines in the water. Joking aside, his love of nature was so evident even if the horseback riding and fishing skills weren’t quite there. It was a joy for him to just be outside with his family. And while he was a lot more capable than Clark Griswold, he had his fair share of accidents and mishaps that the family still laughs about today (we love you dad!).


In the late 1990’s, Ed decided that he needed to take his career and the trajectory of Teradyne to the next step and could enable this by returning to school. He attended several courses at UC Santa Barbara over a 2-year span and used everything he learned during that time, combined with his decades of experience and knowledge of Teradyne, to start a new group at Teradyne called Enabling Technology. This group was and still is one of the key sources of technological advances at the company. He managed this group for several years but eventually decided to think for himself for once and retire in 2005 at the age of 55, an age at which many could only dream of retiring.


One of Ed’s dreams was to move to Whidbey Island in Washington when he retired, and he was able to make that happen in style. He purchased a breathtaking 20+ acre property in Clinton (South Whidbey) and had an incredibly beautiful custom home and barn built on it overlooking a tranquil pond. He and Mikki spent about 10 years living here enjoying surrounding nature and peacefulness. They also got to welcome their first grandchild Landon (Kerry) in June 2011 and were able to spend a lot of time with him as Kerry and Landon lived nearby. Ed and Landon enjoyed their daily walks picking blackberries and searching for bugs. During this time, Ed couldn’t let himself fully retire and would spend thousands of hours researching code and developing an application from scratch to enable live viewing and recording of security cameras. He was certainly onto something as this was long before the “plug and play” security camera era – he just didn’t have an army of employees to help him get everything perfected and out into the world fast enough. Still, the amount of ingenuity and focus he put into this invention was nothing short of unbelievable. To this day, the family still uses his application daily. When he wasn’t “working”, he was spending time with Landon whenever possible and his beloved dogs Lady and Nellie.


In 2015, Ed and Mikki decided that their time in Washington had come to an end and that it was time to explore a different area. Due to the amount of family living in and around Prescott, AZ, it quickly became evident that that was their next stop. They moved into a home in Prescott that overlooks pine trees and a small creek, both of which are features that my dad seemingly couldn’t live without. He welcomed his second grandchild Audrey (Jeff) in July 2016 and was able to travel back and forth from AZ to CA to visit her. In September 2019, his 3rd grandchild Oliver (Jeff) was born. His last few years were spent enjoying family visits and traveling with their dog Mia to see his children and grandkids.


Ed leaves behind his wife Mikki, children Kerry and Jeff, three grandkids Landon, Audrey, and Oliver, children-in-law Jonathan and Kristen, five siblings Bud, Susan, Meg, Janet, and Cathy, and dog Mia. The world lost an extraordinary man way too soon, and he will be severely missed forever.


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