William A. Oberle, Sr. - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

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.


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13 Condolences for William A. Oberle, Sr.

  • Please accept our deepest condolences, from our family to yours.

  • We send our deepest condolences to you and your family.

  • Bill, my deepest sympathy to you and your family in the passing of your father. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

  • Bill, Sally, and Family: We send our heartfelt condolences to your family and hope that your grief passes as quickly as possible. We very much enjoyed reading the obituary…your Dad was a very impressive man. I especially enjoyed reading about his baseball accomplishments. Interestingly, he spent a good portion of his time in the Pacific Theater during WWII where my Dad was hitting one beach after another with the United States Marine Corps.
    Eva and Jack

  • Our thoughts and sympathy are with your family at this difficult time. It is sad to loose a member of the “Greatest Generation” who embodied the traits that made this nation great.

  • Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. Oberle. My family member, Alvester Rothwell was his roommate at Broadmeadow.. He was a sweet person and was always pleasant to our family. We have watched Eagles and Phillies games with him and Alvester, and they often called for my husband or I to bring them Italian subs from Cappriotti’s. He will be missed.

  • What a remarkable man. We know you will miss him but we hope you find comfort in the wonderful memories you must have of your life with him

  • God Bless the family of Mr. William Oberle Sr.

  • Sending our deepest condolences, thoughts, and prayers to the family during this difficult time.

    Don, family and the Staff at WhiteMink Salon

  • Bill – my sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your dad. I lost my mom this summer and I know that parent passing is hard, no matter what their age as their love is unique. As the Irish say “Death leaves a hole that nothing can heal, but love leaves a memory that nothing can steal.” May your memories sustain you at this sad time. Nancy Cotugna (Food Bank board member).

  • Bill,to you and your family,our condolences.We share your suffering in your loss of your father.

    It has been awhile since our paths have crossed.He had a long and fruitful life.I see where

    your life’s journey was part of his legacy.Prayers to you.

  • Billy I am very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. After reading your Dad’s obituary it became very clear how much he influenced you and I am sure he was equally as proud of you as you are of him, God Bless.

  • Bill, Sorry to hear about your father’s passing. You’ve been very blessed to have had him in your life for so long and you sure have reason to be proud to carry on his name. Patty (Barbara White’s daughter).