The irony that Amy, Trent’s wife, would choose the people that once nearly killed him to help write his obituary is not lost on us, but we’ll get to that later. To be quite honest, we’ve never read an obituary (let alone written one), so we don’t know who exactly these are normally for. We decided to write this to his two beautiful young kids, Gill and Charlotte, who deserve to know how we all felt about their dad.
Trent worked hard to become the man he is today. He was born in 1982 to Brad and Myra Ostler - parents who continue to love and cherish him. When he was only seven years old, his beloved mom passed away, leaving Trent to help his dad raise, care for, and set an enduring example for his four younger siblings. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Samara, Russia. He graduated from BYU with a double major in Bioinformatics and Russian. He worked in the Gygi Lab at Harvard Medical School as a bioinformatics specialist. He received his Juris Doctorate from The University of New Hampshire School of Law, specializing in patent law. He was an accomplished and skilled patent attorney in Washington, D.C., and San Diego, California, and he even founded his own company. To simply call Trent ‘a smart man’ is almost absurd.
But beyond his competent and near wizard-like resume, he was quite a bit more. If you asked Trent to reflect on his life, he would immediately speak about his wife Amy, whom he adored and looked up to. A few days before their wedding, he wrote, “I am so in love with this girl… as I better understand her personality, compliment her, and get complimented by her, we climb higher and higher.” Trent would also tell you about spending every possible second with kids, Charlotte and Gill, making blanket forts and going on countless adventures.
To many of us, Trent represents some of the greatest, kindest, most absurd, hilarious, and formative memories we hold. He ran, illegally, every 5K, 10K, Turkey Trot, and Freedom Fun Run he could find. Later, while battling brain cancer, he ran the St. George marathon, finishing within five minutes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. As a Pizza Hut line cook, he played chess with his cousin, Stan, on a board hidden inside a pizza box. He went on to teach his daughter chess so well that Charlotte was able to beat him at age seven. Trent could juggle and ride a unicycle, and at age eight, he stuffed his ears full of play-doh and then called his aunt Lora to calmly ask her to come and help. He has laboriously planted acres of tomatoes on the Gibby farm. By hand. Using nothing more than a rusty cast iron spike and the motivation of his grandpa Gibby.
Some will also remember that exactly ten years ago, whilst engaged; he was taken to southern Utah by his disreputable cousins for what was supposed to be a quick, fun canyoneering excursion. What was supposed to be four hours, devolved perilously into 20 hours, 20 miles, a flash flood, a broken rope, hitchhiking, river fording, cactus crawling, and blind rappelling through the unknown dark of night. Yet in the midst of it all, chest-deep in water with our last rope desperately stuck, and lightning overhead, Trent turned and asked that we pray. He offered his thanks, expressed his gratitude, and asked for help he knew would come. The rope came unstuck with the next two pulls.
I think that when we speak of Trent, we’ll always speak about his goodness, his faith in Jesus Christ, his courage, his love of Amy, Charlotte, and Gill. We’ll share the way he always sought truth, cared for his family, worked hard, and ran far. We’ll share his best moments, and remember him as a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a cousin, and a friend. As he once wrote, “Here’s to life. Here’s to living life to the fullest everyday. The only regret you should have each day is that it wasn’t long enough.”
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