Lawrence M. Ostresh, Jr.
1943 - 2013
Lawrence “Larry” M. Ostresh died August 4, 2013. He was 70 years old.
Lawrence Ostresh was born in Granite City, Illinois. After high school he entered the U.S. Navy becoming a sonar technician. He was on active duty in Key West, Fla., during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. After leaving the Navy he entered Southern Illinois University receiving his B.A. in 1968, and his M.S. in 1969. He then entered the University of Iowa where he received his Ph.D. in geography in 1973. Larry was hired as an instructor at the University of Wyoming in 1972, retiring at the rank of Professor in 2006. He served as departmental chair from 1981 to 1984. A large part of his focus was in computer cartography and GIS, but he taught a wide array of classes including cultural geography, urban geography, economic geography, transportation geography, population geography, urban land use and planning, and geographical analysis.
Larry developed a deep love of trains and railroads as a child, and pursued that interest later in his career and upon retirement. While still at the University of Wyoming he developed a course examining the impact of railroads on the development of Wyoming. In retirement he became President of the Laramie Historic Railroad Depot Board, and was instrumental in creating the Laramie Railroad Heritage Park.