Paul Ostergard

Obituary of Paul M. Ostergard


Paul M. Ostergard, a longtime resident of Hilton Head Island, passed away on Saturday, March 16, 2024. He was a resident of Wexford prior to his relocation to Tidepointe. He was an active member at All Saints Church where he once chaired the All Saints Foundation to help build permanent and nonpermanent funds in fulfilling its Christian calling.


Paul spent most of his life heading large foundations and not for profit organizations. In the 1980’s he headed the GE Foundation and led its “College Bound” initiative to prepare more inner-city students for college. This program was awarded Harvard’s Dively Award for Corporate Social Responsibility. In the 1990’s he headed the Citigroup Foundation (now the Citi Foundation) and created its microfinance program to help low-income people worldwide start small enterprises to improve the health and education of their families. In 1999 he helped lead the effort by actor Paul Newman and others to launch the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy, and later served as President of Junior Achievement International with programs in more than 100 countries to prepare more young people for college and the workplace.


Trained as a lawyer, Paul graduated magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University where he spent his junior year abroad at the University of Madrid. He was awarded a Juris Doctor at the University of Michigan Law School, and later a Master of Public Administration at Harvard University. Some of his honors and recognitions include Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Beta Kappa Fellows, Omicron Delta Kappa, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World.


Over the years he served on many Boards, including a Trustee and Trustee Emeritus of Case Western University. He was a founding member of the Master Card Foundation, one of the largest in the world. Earlier he served on the Boards of Junior Achievement, Americans for the Arts, The Red Cross of Greater New York, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Securities Industry Financial Markets Foundation and the Pullman Company.


In the mid-1960’s he served as a Captain in the United States Air Force and served during the Vietnam War with the 37th Combat Support Group at Phu Cat Air Base and was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal. 


Paul was born in Akron, Ohio to Paul and Jannette Ostergard, both of whom predeceased him. He is survived by a sister, Pat Smith (Dave) of Bath, Ohio and a brother, Craig (Andra) of Bluffton, SC.  Paul was “Uncle Mike” to Debbie Allen (Don) of Bath, Ohio; Paul Evans of Minneapolis, MN; Jessica Bender of Bluffton, SC and Dr. Thomas Ostergard (Katie) of Greensboro, NC.  Paul was also “Uncle Mike” to James, William and Alex Bender of Bluffton, SC and Lucy Ostergard of Greensboro, NC.


In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate consideration of the following donations: All Saints Episcopal Church Foundation, 3001 Meeting Street, Hilton Head, SC 29928 and/or Crescent Hospice, 56 Persimmon Street Bluffton, SC 29910. 

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