Memorial- Walter Ostosh

Walter was a man everyone should have known. He defined “gentleman”. We were entertained by his stories and entranced by his photography. His family, Janet, Brian and  Scott, as well as his legion of friends, will be his legacy. And, his legacy will loom large over San Diego and the world.

I was privileged to meet him in July of 2003 when he lent me a Widelux camera to take on our Alaska trip. Some of the most memorable photos I have were the result. More importantly, however, I had a chance to listen to his stories. These were the remembrances of a man who is defined by the act of packing a view camera to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to take a single photograph and braved the sea to photograph tall ships. (Something I would never consider!)  

Walter had trouble seeing, which is an ironic and cruel thing to happen to a photographer. He aged gracefully, if not well. So I say, “Thanks, Walter. Thanks for providing an example of how a man can live with difficulties. Thanks for the example of how a man can be when life plays jokes upon him. Thanks for coming to my parties and thanks for being generous.”

Janet told me that Walter said that he was not afraid of dying. He said it was a once-in-a-lifetime event he didn’t want to miss. Walter, I wish I had known you longer, and better.

Memorial Bar-b-que – September 3, 2006

It is fitting that his family and friends got together to remember him and have a party in his honor. He was a man who enjoyed a party. He was a man who enjoyed his family and friends and the people here today were people who enjoyed him. The black & white photos are a history of the man and his family.