John William Bostedt
John William (J.W.) Bostedt passed away Friday morning, June 3rd, at his cutting horse ranch in Nye, Montana. He was raised in Salinas, California by his parents Jack and Mattie Bostedt. He was Baptized in 1957 at the Salinas United Presbyterian Church. As a boy he began a lifelong passion for the game of baseball. He was a member of the 1962 Little League World Series Championship team and went on to play ball in high school and beyond. While attending Amador Valley High, he also played football and was a member of the 1966 East Bay Athletic League Championship team and went on to play college football at Cal State College Hayward.
His time playing college football was cut short by his patriotism as he volunteered to join the U.S. Army to fight for freedom in Vietnam. He served as a Doorgunner for the 135th Assault Helicopter Company. The 135th’s most unique characteristic was that it was comprised of approximately 1/3 Royal Australian Navy personnel and 2/3 U.S. Army personnel. His unit was later recognized by the Australian Military with the Unit Citation for Gallantry. The 135th’s casualty, battle damage, and aircraft availability rates place it among the outstanding assault helicopter units of the war. His flight records documented over 75 combat missions. He was awarded The Air Medal in 1969 for distinguishing himself by meritorious achievement for the sustained aerial flight over hostile territory in support of operations against communist aggression during July of 1968.
Later in life John attended Montana State University and studied construction management. His career in commercial construction took him to many places across the world. A few of his most prideful projects include the construction of airport structures across the country, rocket launch pads, the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, and the dam project at Mystic Lake, MT. Most of his career was spent at Hensel Phelps Construction Company where he left a legacy in crafting the ‘Bostedt Book of 14’ that outlined procedures for successful operations and management of complex projects, the Book of 14 is still used today at every project built by HP.
Since his retirement from HP, John was able to carry out his other passion in life, breeding and competing performance horses. His love for horses was born when he was 14 years old at the ranch in Pleasanton, CA. He moved to Nye, MT over twenty years ago and began breeding cutting horses. He was a member of the Montana Cutting Horse Association and actively competed cutting horses with multiple trainers up until the day he passed. He was well-regarded in the cutting horse community as a passionate horseman.
John was a larger-than-life personality, truly one of kind. He was quick-witted, a well-read historian, highly intelligent, strong, able, tough, gentle with a horse, and was a damn good hand.
John chose not to have a funeral service. Per his wishes, John was buried at his horse ranch alongside the Stillwater River. He was survived by his family, so many friends across the country, teammates, HP coworkers, fellow Doorgunners, the loving community in the Stillwater Valley, and by his horses with his handcrafted bloodlines that will carry on his legacy.