Gabriele Elisabeth Ost was a kind mother and successful upholsterer who had boundless energy, humor and courage, even in her final days battling cervical cancer.
Mrs. Ost died at 44 last Wednesday at her home in the 9000 block of Billow Road. She had fought cancer for four years.
"She was incredibly courageous through this entire thing, her bout with cancer," said her husband, Dick Ost. "Through it all, she never lost her sense of humor."
Mrs. Ost, who was born in Germany, met her husband there in 1967 while he was a military police officer. They moved to Pennsylvania, where she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology at Temple University.
Mrs. Ost started Ost Upholstery, a refinishing business, in Ellicott City four years ago. She worked there until January, when cancer made it too difficult for her to continue. She never advertised her firm, yet she had to turn business away because
her work was so good, her husband said.
"Gabi, unlike me, could fix things like a cuckoo box," said Janet Medori, a friend for 19 years. "Once we saw her muttering, 'Where's my miter box?' "
Mrs. Ost enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and working on her garden. She loved reading, do macrame and sewing -- the reason she opened her upholstery business. She was also a
den mother for Cub Scout Pack 838 out of Thunder Hill Elementary School, where she served as a volunteer aide.
In addition to her upholstery business, she and her husband owned Seven Seas Cruise Travel in Columbia.
"She always had tremendous energy -- just a really nice person," said neighbor Linda Chester. "She had fantastic energy. We all have busy lives, but she just went that one bit further."
Families in her Cub Scout troop as well as neighbors brought over home-cooked dinners every other day during her illness to help the family.
"She was still too young to die," said Mrs. Chester. "She still had too many things to do. It just wasn't fair."
Services are scheduled at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Witzke Funeral Home at 5555 Twin Knolls Road in Columbia. The family suggests donations to the American Cancer Society.
She is survived by her mother, Maria Flammann (nee Braun), 70, of Germany; her husband, Dick Ost, 46, of Columbia; three sons, Krystoff, 24; Alexander, 8; and Peter, 5, all of Columbia; a brother, Gerhard Flammann, 43, of Germany; and a sister, Brigitte Sergies, 40, of Germany.