William A. Oberle Sr.
August 30, 1919 – November 10, 2013
William Albert Oberle, Sr., master machinist, woodworker, and father of four, died on Sunday, November 10, 2013 in Newark, DE at the age of 94.
Born in Coatesville, PA to parents Albert J. and Maize F. Oberle, he grew up on a small farm in Boothwyn, PA and attended a one-room school house.
He later moved to Claymont, DE where he attended Claymont High School and played both football and baseball. Following graduation, he played for a number of local semi-pro baseball teams as well as one season with the Milford Giants in the Eastern Shore League. In 1938 he was named to the all-State Semi-Pro Team by the National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress.
He worked as a machinist and machine shop foreman for the Worth Steel Company, formerly Colorado Fuel and Iron and Phoenix Steel, for 28 years, and later as the machine shop foreman for Zallea Brothers, Inc. before retiring.
Like so many others of his generation he enlisted in the US Navy during World War II and served 37 months, achieving the rank of Machinst Mate First Class. He served in North Africa and later in the Pacific Theatre. As part of a boarding party he was injured during an explosion on the captured Japanese Battleship Nagato. He was hospitalized in Hawaii and following his recovery was part of the American occupation force of Japan. His ship, the USS Delta, was the second ship entering Tokyo Bay where he personally witnessed the formal signing of the Japanese surrender.
Later in life he pursued other interests such as ballroom dancing and woodworking — making and selling custom furniture and cabinets at the local craft shows.
He was deeply loved by all who knew him and will be remembered for his sharp mind, sense of humor, and wit.
He is predeceased by his wife, Janet Christine Arnett Oberle and his long time companion Fay Bernhard. He is survived by his children, William Oberle, Jr., Faye Fields, Kaye Gebert, and Lois Bonarigo; his seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and a loving friend Dorothy Jester.
Services and entombment will be held privately at Gracelawn Memorial Park, New Castle, DE.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675, www.woundedwarriorproject.org.