Derald Dean Hostetler 1942-2021

Derald Hostetler, 79, of Sheridan, Oregon, died September 3, 2021. After battling pneumonia, he returned home from the hospital to be surrounded by family. He enjoyed his last days looking out over the Valley which he loved.

Derald was born in Eugene, Oregon, to David and Nora (Baker) Hostetler, on March 17, 1942, a birthday shared with his oldest daughter. He married Melvena Mae Kilmer on September 15, 1962, at Sheridan Mennonite Church. Derald is survived by Melvena, his wife of 59 years; daughters, Donna (Aaron) BreMiller and Brenda (Tony) Kauffman; and grandchildren, Abby (Kyle) Warren, Olivia BreMiller, Shanti Kauffman and Saroj Kauffman. He is survived by sister, Lois (Larry) Hamilton; sister-in-law, Marlene (Merv) Stutzman; and brother, James. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Dave; and sister, Ellen (Jim) Eigsti.

Derald pursued many interests. After graduating from Western Mennonite in 1960, he attended OIT where he studied auto body repair. He lived in Portland and Albany doing auto body work until moving to Sheridan in the mid-'60s, where he became a real estate agent and established Hostetler Realty with his father. In the mid-'80s, Derald became a flight instructor in Salem. He invested in the family farm by growing Christmas trees, which he sold in California and Texas on lots for 40 years. A highlight was when an aide to Lady Bird Johnson purchased a tree for the former First Lady. In 2020, Derald fulfilled his long-time dream of welcoming guests to the family farm to choose their trees.

Derald had a lifelong passion for flying. In the late '60s he restored a 1948 Stinson in which he later flew the family to Alaska to fish, see the glaciers and take in majestic views. In recent years he assembled his own plane. 2018 marked his first time competing in a take-off and landing competition, at which he also had the distinction of being the event’s oldest pilot.

Derald will be remembered for his love of genealogy, hosting BBQs, and asking his children (in dismay), “Who cut the top of this tree?!” While his family misses him terribly, they hope his keen sense of adventure, love for the land and sky and cherished family connections will live on. Thank you, Dad, for giving us both roots to grow and wings to fly.

Charitable Gifts:

Mennonite Central Committee, P.O. Box 500, Akron, PA 17501-0500

Gospel Echoes, P.O. Box 555, Goshen, IN 46529

A memorial will be announced at a later date.


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