OBITUARY: Virtual Memorial on April 17 for Jan Ostendorf, 68; Businesswoman, Volunteer, Mom

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With heavy hearts, the family announces Jan Rutkin Ostendorf’s passing on February 11, 2021.

Jan was born August 12, 1952 to Ruth and Todd Rutkin, and grew up in North Hollywood.

After graduating from North Hollywood High School, she attended UC Berkeley where she studied anthropology. She was proud to participate in the student protests against the Vietnam War.

Jan took a year off from college to travel around Europe, spending most of her time in Aix-en-Provence, France. Following her time at Berkeley, she moved back to Los Angeles and completed her master’s degree in dance kinesiology at UCLA.

Her first job was at a healthcare clinic in Santa Monica, where she worked as an exercise physiologist. Next, she moved to the Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where she ran health and wellbeing programs for corporate businesses.

But Jan was drawn back to the family business and in the 1980’s, she joined Todd Rutkin, Inc., the garment cutting company her father had started. Jan would eventually take over and revolutionize the business with the implementation of computerized cutting machines.

Under Jan’s leadership, TR became one of the most reputable names in the apparel industry, whose customers included Patagonia, Under Armour, J Brand and others.

In her first year at UCLA, Jan reconnected with her brother’s friend Duke Ostendorf, whom she first met while working at the YMCA. The two fell in love after a night trespassing in Barnsdall Park and admiring Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House.

They went on to build a life together around shared interests in business, architecture and design, hiking and travel. They married at the Ambassador Hotel in 1977.

Their son Hank was born in 1986, and with the birth of their daughter Jennie in 1991, they moved into the house in Pacific Palisades where they would spend the rest of their lives.

While maintaining a thriving career, Jan was a committed and loving mother, generous friend and active member of the community. Over the thirty years she lived in the Palisades, she was involved with the Palisades-Malibu YMCA, the Pacific Palisades Residents Association, the Pacific Palisades Community Council, and the Pacific Palisades Junior Women’s Club. She also enjoyed volunteering at the St. Matthew’s Thrift Shop. She loved yoga, wildflowers, dancing, dogs and movies.

Jan is predeceased by her husband Duke, and is survived by her family who are raising funds to support Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, an organization that provides accessible mental health, substance use disorder, and suicide prevention services. To learn more and contribute to their important mission, please visit didihirsch.org and dedicate your gift in memory of Jan Ostendorf.

Jan’s children, Hank and Jennie Ostendorf, will host a memorial via Zoom on Saturday, April 17 at 2 p.m. Click (CLICK HERE.) for details and to RSVP. To offer condolences, please contact OstendorfFamily1120@gmail.com.

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