Cover photo for Diane "Hootsie" Kay Gustad's Obituary
Diane "Hootsie" Kay Gustad Profile Photo
1950 Diane "Hootsie" 2019

Diane "Hootsie" Kay Gustad

June 19, 1950 — December 11, 2019


June 19, 1950 – December 13, 2019


                Diane Kay “Hootsie” Gustad, age 69, of Park Rapids, MN, formerly of LeSueur, MN, peacefully passed into eternal life, in the warmth and comfort of her own home east of Park Rapids, surrounded by her loved ones including her two dogs: “Scooter” and “Little Guy” who she had rescued out in the Arizona desert.  Diane fought valiantly against pancreatic cancer that ultimately took her life.

                Diane was born on June 19, 1950 in Willmar MN to Donald and Dorothy (Rarer) Osterman.  She grew up in LeSueur, graduating from high school with the class of 1968.  She was married to Bradley Van Buskirk on October 19, 1968.  This union was blessed with one son, Chad who was born in 1973.  Diane had attended Beauty College and worked as a beautician for several years.  She then worked as a secretary at Green Giant Canning Company of LeSueur until 1981.  She then did secretarial work for the LeSueur Foundry until 1991, when she moved to Park Rapids with her family.  Diane had been a member of the LeSueur Saddle Club and participated in both the softball and bowling leagues there.  After venturing to Park Rapids, Diane worked at Smart Chiropractic Clinic and then onto 3M Wonewok Retreat Center north of Park Rapids. 

She worked as their cook and tour guide until her retirement in 2005.  Diane was a volunteer Hubbard County First Responder for a number of years.  Her life was fulfilled in her marriage to Dudley Gustad on July 28, 2009 in a wedding ceremony performed by Rev. Chris Davis.  She also gained three daughters and six more grandchildren. She had served twice as President of the Otto Hendrickson American Legion Post #212 Auxiliary where she was very active for many years.  Diane had also been elected as President of the 6th District American Legion Post Auxiliary serving a large area of Central MN running from the Canadian border all the way south to Elk River. She was a long-time member of the First English Lutheran Church of Dorset.  She and Dudley made their home in Arizona City, AZ for 5 years.  During that time, Diane successfully battled breast cancer and was completely cured.  In 2016, they moved to Colorado City, CO where they lived at the base of the Rocky Mountains and she was active in the local saddle club and the Red Hatters Chapter.  In January of 2019, they returned to Park Rapids where they bought a country home east of town. 

 She was a selfless caretaker always there to help anyone in need and always with a smile on her face.  Her great sense of humor and zest for life will be most remembered.  She made the world's best potato salad that we have not been able to duplicate.  Her favorite fun times were dancing with her brother Doug, hunting, horseback riding, and gardening.  She enjoyed volunteering her time whenever she could.  When opportunity allowed, she could be seen with pull tabs and a whiskey in hand.  And most importantly she enjoyed spending quality time known as “Grandma Chief” with her granddaughters, aka “Maggie Mae” and “Toots”.  

                She will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Dudley of Park Rapids; her son, Chad (Laurel) Van Buskirk; granddaughters: Megan and Taylor of Waconia, MN; her two brothers: Gene (Lauretta) Osterman of Park Rapids and their children: Christina (Joel) Thayer, Jeff (Dani) Osterman, Steven and Stephanie Craig; brother Doug (Cheryl) Osterman of Colorado City, CO and their children: Kelly (Tony) Kopp, Goddaughter Kaitlyn; extended family; daughters: Kelly (Mike) Chase of Nisswa, MN, Kate (Matt)Thompson of Detroit, MI and Kari Gustad of Manchester, New Hampshire;  six grandchildren as well as other relatives and many friends.       

                Diane was preceded in death by her parents; and several aunts and uncles.

                Funeral services will be held 11 AM Monday, December 16, 2019 at the First English Lutheran Church in Dorset with the Rev. Chris Davis officiating.  Visitation will be held from 3 to 6 PM Sunday, December 15th at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home and will continue beginning one hour prior to the service on Monday at the church.  Interment will be held at the State Veterans Cemetery near Little Falls, MN noon on Tuesday, December 17. 


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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, December 15, 2019

3:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, December 16, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

First English Lutheran Church

, Park Rapids, MN 56470

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