Ryan Ostendorf


May 19, 1977 - December 5, 2005




This page was created to remember a bright young man, a great paramedic, and an all around good guy.  MUCH of the credit for this page goes to paramedic Jason Belanger.  As I'm provided more pictures, I'll put them up, so be sure to check back often.  I'm sure this page will continue to grow.  Feel free to share your memories in Ryan's Guestbook.  The link is at the bottom of the page.  Sorry about the ads though.- MRM

Ryan's Story, by Jason Belanger (Click here to read)

The Unanswered Call, by Lynne Baker (Click here to read)

Obituary as printed in the Lawrence Journal-World

Ryan Ostendorf

1977 - 2005

Services for Ryan Ostendorf, 28, Lawrence, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Zion Lutheran Church in Gothenburg, Neb. Burial will be in Grandview Cemetery.

Mr. Ostendorf died Monday, Dec. 5, 2005, in Topeka.

He was born May 19, 1977, in North Platte, Neb., the son of Robert “Bob” and JoAnn Kinnersley Ostendorf. He graduated from Gothenburg High School in 1995 and attended Kansas University as a pre-medical student.

Mr. Ostendorf worked as an emergency medical technician in Hastings, Neb., and transferred to American Medical Response in Lawrence to work as a paramedic.

Survivors include his parents, Gothenburg; a brother, Christopher, Kearney, Neb.; four sisters, Michelle Stuhr and Andrea Ostendorf, both of Gothenburg, Robin Ostendorf, Kearney, and Stacy Jefferies, Belzoni, Miss.; and a grandmother, Pauline Kinnersley.

The family will receive friends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Blase-Memorial Chapel in Gothenburg.

The family suggests memorials to the donor’s choice, sent in care of the chapel, 620 10th St., Gothenburg, NE 69138.

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"I remember I laughed at his ass all night. He got hives or some kind of rash from whatever he was drinking."

From Chris Dykes

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When Tomorrow Starts Without Me

Please click above for the poem that Jason Belanger read at the Topeka memorial.

AMR ambulance

"In loving memory of a DAMN fine medic and an AWESOME friend! We will miss you Ryan!

He sent this to me last week when I was comin home from Lawrence from dropping a pt off…….."

From Jaime

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Article from Lawrence Journal-World

Lawrence paramedic killed in wreck

Ambulance crew members at scene of accident included roommate

When a Shawnee County ambulance crew responded to a fatal wreck Monday night east of Topeka, the last thing they expected to find was the body of a co-worker.

Paramedic Ryan Ostendorf had left his home in Lawrence and was driving to Topeka when he was killed in a head-on collision. The accident occurred about 8:20 p.m. on U.S. Highway 40 near Shawnee Heights Road.

Ostendorf had worked at American Medical Response ambulance service for five years. That night he would have started his shift at 9 p.m.

“We see this kind of thing all the time,” said Capt. Steve Guyle, field supervisor with the ambulance service. “But when it strikes someone you know and work with, it strikes too close to home.”

Ostendorf, 28, was working part-time at American Medical Response while attending Kansas University, where he was a senior majoring in biology. He wanted to go on to medical school and become a physician, Guyle said.

Ostendorf had a bright future, Guyle said.

“He was an outstanding paramedic who had the trust and confidence of the local physicians and the trust and confidence of the management staff and employees,” he said. “He was an extraordinary individual.”

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Ostendorf was driving a Jeep Cherokee west on U.S. 40 when he was struck head-on by a Cadillac Escalade traveling east in the westbound lane. The driver, Victor Antua, 28, thought to be from Topeka, and two passengers were injured. He was taken to St. Francis Via Christi hospital in Wichita. His condition was not known Thursday.

Troopers continue to investigate the accident, including whether alcohol was a contributing factor, KHP spokesman Lt. John Eichkorn said. When the investigation is complete, a report will be sent to the Shawnee County District Attorney for review, he said.

Ambulance crew members responding to the accident included emergency medical technician Mike Cox, Ostendorf’s roommate, Guyle said. Cox has received some time off and other assistance, Guyle said.

The accident also devastated other crew members and shocked others who knew Ostendorf, including many with fire and law enforcement agencies as well as medical personnel at Topeka hospitals, Guyle said.

“We’re kind of the thread that interweaves through all these agencies and you get sort of attached,” he said. “He touched so many lives. He will be greatly missed.”

Ambulance service employees and Ostendorf’s family in Nebraska are receiving counseling and other assistance.

Funeral services will be Saturday in Gothenburg, Neb. American Medical Response plans to send a caravan of ambulances and several employees. Other agencies also may send representatives. A memorial service will be at 2:45 p.m. Monday in Grace Cathedral at Eighth and Polk streets in Topeka, Guyle said.

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All I remember about Ryan was how nice and sincere he was when he delivered or picked up patients from different facilities.  While I was doing my paramedic rotation in the ER and when I was working in a nursing home doing physical therapy, he was always respectful to the hospital/nursing home employees and his patient.
EMS & the world in general lost a very special man.
God Bless You, Ryan.
Cheryl L Holz

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KU News Release
Dec. 9, 2005
Contact: Dan Lara, University Relations, (785) 864-8855.

KU Chancellor Hemenway’s statement on the death of student Ryan Ostendorf

University of Kansas Chancellor Robert Hemenway issued the following statement today in response to the death of Ryan Ostendorf, Gothenburg, Neb., senior, who was killed Dec. 5 in a traffic accident in Shawnee County. Ostendorf, a biology major, worked as a paramedic for American Medical Response in Topeka:

"I am saddened by the tragic and sudden death of Ryan, who wanted to attend medical school after graduating from KU and become a doctor. He was a bright, motivated student who was dedicated to helping others as a paramedic. On behalf of the entire KU community, I express my deepest sympathies to Ryan’s family and friends.”

Statement of Gerrit de Boer, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology:

“ Ryan was one of my best students. He was exceptional in class and a very likable person. He had the amazing ability to recall details from class discussions and papers without having the information right in front of him. There wasn't anyone who did not like him. He will be missed very much by all who knew him.”

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Pictures from the memorial service in Topeka

Dec. 12th, 2005

(Click on the photo for a larger image) 


Every EMS personnel in attendance released a white balloon in Ryan's honor.

221 was the ambulance used to take Ryan to his resting place.

One balloon decided to stick around until the last ambulance "cleared".  Ryan sticking around?

Ryan's Last Call (Click to listen)

Works with Windows Media Player

Please click HERE for more photos.

Every Moment


I’ll take my every moment

Every smile, every laugh

Everything I meant to tell you

Along the good Lord’s path


I’ll take my every memory

Smiles, laughter, tears

Everything you gave to each of us

To treasure throughout our years


We’ll pick up all our pieces

Every heartache, every tear

And we’ll try to pick each other up

As you have done while you were here


I’ll take my every sorrow

Treasure every tear

Linger on each reflection

Every minute you were near


We’ll take our every instant

Cause that’s all it took

You were taken in an single breath

Without a second look


We’ll miss you every moment

Every second you were here

Keep you close within our hearts

Wishing with every breath that you were near


Always in our thoughts...

Forever in our hearts...

We love and miss you Ry


Albi Lynn Schmidt




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Thanks for all you've done Ryan.  You'll be missed.