Everyone at Cowsmo would like to send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Annette.
Annette Kay Ostrom, 49, of De Pere, was called to her home in heaven Oct. 19, 2022, surrounded by her loving family after a brief, courageous battle with cancer. Annette was born Oct. 30, 1972, in Sheboygan Falls, Wis., a daughter to Gladys (Justinger) and the late Hans Palm. She attended Sheboygan Falls High School and University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a degree in agriculture in 2005. On Dec. 28, 2007, she married James J. Ostrom and settled in DePere, Wis., where they raised four children.
In both her professional and private lives, Annette cared deeply about people and paid attention — a wonderful combination that uplifted all who knew her. She understood that when it came to a person’s family, there were no “little things.” Remembering the names of a friend or colleague’s children wasn’t enough — Annette knew their ages and their life goals, building warm connections with everyone. That incandescent compassion could not overshadow a fierce strength that was never more apparent than during her brave fight against cancer. Annette never lost her grace, never lost her fortitude, never lost her faith. Annette was a beloved figure in the Wisconsin dairy industry, both as a long-time business manager for Zoetis, as well as for her passion for the dairy-cattle-showing community. Just weeks before her passing, she was at the World Dairy Expo in Madison supporting family, friends and her own highly successful show-cow team. Annette served as a co-founder of Dairy Cares of Wisconsin, a non-profit organization that has raised more than $2 million in support of Children’s Wisconsin (formerly Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin). Her selfless spirit and kindness live on in the children and families that have benefited from those efforts. In 2017, Annette and her husband, Jim, accepted the “Wisconsin Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award” on behalf of Dairy Cares during National Philanthropy Day. Though her name was etched onto the plaque, Annette always insisted she accepted the award on behalf of a large team of volunteers of which she was just one.
Ultimately, nothing brought Annette more joy than watching her family grow and develop into outstanding young adults: Carlie, Mac, Shelby and Tristen were sources of pride, inspiration and good humor. Above all else, motherhood and family were Annette’s touchstones. Annette leaves behind her husband Jim; her four children Carlie, Mac, Shelby and Tristen; her mother Gladys; brothers Dean (Ruth Ann) Palm, Howards Grove, and Larry (Kathy) Palm, DePere; sister Heidi (Tom) Haack, Sheboygan Falls; mother-in-law Mary Bahlke, Watertown; father-in-law Donald (Linda) Ostrom, Oconomowoc; brothers-in-law Glenn (Irina) Ostrom, Greenville, Craig (Heidi) Ostrom, Wauwatosa, and Lance (Laurel) Ostrom, Concord, Mass.; and sister-in-law Sue Ellen (Mark) Pernitz, New Glarus. Annette also is survived by many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her loving father Hans Palm and grandparents. A special thank you to the amazing community of friends, colleagues, caregivers and loved ones who rallied around Annette throughout her courageous battle.
The family would like to thank Dr. Dan Koster, who diagnosed her illness immediately and provided exceptional care until the day she passed. On the good days and the bad, in the victories and setbacks, Annette never struggled alone. For one who cared so much about so many, it was humbling to witness how many cared for the one.
On Monday, Oct. 24, a Celebration of Annette’s Life will take place at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30) Monday, Oct. 24, at Life Church, 1551 Lawrence Dr, De Pere. The gathering will take a meaningful, but non-traditional, approach with no formal receiving line. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, visitation will take place at Salem United Church of Christ, 217 Salem Dr., Plymouth, from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. She will be laid to rest at the Woodland Cemetery in Kohler, Wis., following the service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a charitable gift to Dairy Cares of Wisconsin, N3569 Vanden Bosch Road, Freedom, WI 54130. “We need not erect monuments to the righteous; their deeds are their monuments.” — Genesis 32:10 Wenig Funeral Home – Sheboygan Falls (920-467-3431) is assisting the family with arrangements. Please visit www.wenigfh.com for more information and online condolences.