Ozzie and Crystal had an on again off again romance throughout their teenage years. The only solution was to get married at age 21 and spend the next 50+ years together, so that is what they did, until July 24th when Ozzie’s big generous heart stopped and Crystal’s heart broke.
Ozzie was born in Frederic, WI to Esther and Philman Berntson and grew up in Luck, WI where he attended high school and was an exceptional athlete, playing basketball, setting state records in track, and playing football where a news reporter wrote: “This kid Berntson is the best player in the conference. He can do it all. He’s a terror, a one-man gang.” Ozzie went on to play football at Eau Claire College until he left to pursue his goal of running his own construction company. Ozzie and Crystal married in 1971, bought their first home in St. Paul, and in 1975 moved to White Bear Lake where they spent many happy years raising their two sons. They joined St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and have been members ever since. In 1979, through hard work, determination, and perseverance, Ozzie co-founded “Armstrong Rigging and Erecting” which grew into a successful business. After twenty years Ozzie sold Armstrong. With his enterprising spirit Ozzie thrived on pursuing new ventures and challenges; treasure hunting in the Bahamas, international real estate development in Costa Rica, ground penetrating sonar in the Southwest, flipping scores of houses and new residential construction in the Midwest. Despite mixed results Ozzie, the eternal optimist, never believed there was any problem that couldn’t be solved with a little more time and effort. Ozzie was known for being that warm welcoming down to earth guy, with a witty sense of humor and a big personality. With little effort he could command a room. In the last few years Ozzie’s health declined to the point that he was in constant pain and his activity severely limited, yet he never complained and continued to suggest ways others could enjoy life or resolve any problem. He always wanted the best for everyone he knew. Although brutally candid, he was hard not to like, and for many of us impossible not to love.
Ozzie was proceeded in death by his parents, brother Dale, brothers-in-law Kevin and Rocky Cook and Charlie Anderson. He is survived by his wife Crystal, sons Gabriel (Rebecca) and Dominic (Jeannine), six grandchildren, brother Brian (Kathy) sisters and brothers in laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A memorial service will be held at 11AM on August 13th, 2022 at Saint Stephen's Lutheran Church (1965 East County Road E White Bear Lake, MN 55110). Visitation one hour prior. Luncheon to follow.