Natalie Ostgaard, born and raised in Crookston, probably knew more about the town she called home than most so-called historians.
Natalie Ostgaard, born and raised in Crookston, probably knew more about the town she called home than most so-called historians. That’s one of the reasons she could be so especially valuable over the 11 years or so she spent as a reporter and photographer at the Crookston Daily Times, from 2002 to 2013. She was just a wealth of information; it didn’t matter if you needed to know a lot of details about something or someone specific or lots of little tidbits about a very wide-ranging subject, if it involved the current goings-on in town or Crookston’s past, Natalie was the Times’ go-to person.
But Natalie was much more than just an encyclopedia of knowledge on all things Crookston. It’s cliché to say, but the labels fit: Natalie wore her heart on her sleeve, and she’d give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. That was her, in a nutshell.
As everyone in our small town is aware by now, Natalie died this past Monday, along with her husband, Kent, when they were apparently overcome by carbon monoxide in their home just east of Crookston. Their oldest daughter, Aryanna, is still hospitalized in Rochester, and their youngest daughter, Gabi, is OK. Their middle daughter, Cyrina, attends the University of Minnesota Duluth and relatives have picked her up.
Natalie was a real conversationalist, and her compassion would always seem to shine through the brightest when she was talking about someone else who was struggling with something or going through a particularly difficult time. Things weren’t always the easiest for Natalie, either, but she always seemed to find a way to think of others before herself.
She was also one of those people who, when she’d hear you telling a story about something, would almost without fail be able to interject and relate it back to a similar story starring her and her family, whom she loved dearly. Her daughters were her pride and joy. Indeed, Natalie epitomized “family” through and through.
She will be missed by many, many people, from those who knew her well to those who maybe only shared a couple of stories with her.
The Times extends its deepest sympathies to Natalie’s family, the Paulsons, and Kent’s family as well. We also wish Ary, Gabi and Cyrina all the strength in the world as they try to come to grips with this enormous tragedy.
– Times Staff