William Oesterling

Bill Oesterling

William Oesterling (March 4, 1921 - December 10, 2006) was the Third Vice-President, Membership of the Association from 1993 to 1995. In that capacity he helped develop a much needed database of membership that could be operated by the Membership Chair rather than needing a computer expert to do the work. He and his wife, Arlys were also regular attendees at Asilomar and other Association events throughout the years.

William Oesterling, 85, of Palm Desert, CA and Redwood City, CA died peacefully in his home in Palm Desert on December 10, 2006.
He was born on March 4, 1921 in Urbana, Illinois and spent his school years there to include receiving his Bachelor's and Masters Degrees in Geology. Between the two degrees he served in the Army as a Medium Tank Platoon Leader, Company Compander, Company A 10th Armored Division in General Patton's Army. He was extremely proud to be with Patton and served in the Battle of the Bulge, Battle of Rhine River, and Battle of Germany.

He began his career in geology working for firms that took him to Kentucky and South Dakota, before he joined the Southern Pacific Land Company in 1958. He married his wife, Arlys, in South Dakota in 1957. The next years were spent in Nevada and California surveying and studying all the land grant properties of the S.P. Land Company. His work culminated in publishing a volume named "Minerals for Industry." Bill and Arlys lived in La Quinta for about 6 months in 1958 while Bill and his geology crew mapped and surveyed most of the mountain ranges around the Palm Springs area. This led to the position of Chief Geologist for S.P. with his office in San Francisco in 1961 and his home in Redwood City.

Bill enjoyed life fully with travel adventures to include 6 trips to Africa. He took up the passion of running and did his first marathon at age 54. Five more marathons were completed until his knees would not take the abuse so he went to the bicycle. It was not long before he did his first 100 mile ride. During his younger years, basketball was his main sport with swimming and tennis added. Golf reared its ugly head and vexed him because he could not conquer it. Another passion was his love for animals so the family usually had a collection of dogs, cats, and even a parrot.

The last 10 years he enjoyed his life spending 6 months of winter in Palm Desert and 6 months of summer in Redwood City, Ca.

One of his favorite humorous sayings was: "It's a tough life but someone has to live it; it might as well be us."

He enjoyed opera, classical music, his beloved dogs; was an avid sports fan.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years and 2 months, Arlys; his son, Wynn of Mountain View, CA and his partner, Jeannie Kawamoto; his sister, Jane of Philadelphia, PA and nieces and nephews. His brother, Bob, preceded him in death.

A celebration of Bill's life will be on Sunday, December 17, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. in Speakers Hall, Shadow Hills Clubhouse, Del Webb, Sun City.

In lieu of flowers, remembrance may be made to Desert Paws, P.O. Box 5066, Palm Springs 92263 or Pets in Need, 8735th Ave., Redwood City, Ca. 94063.
Published in The Desert Sun on 12/17/2006.

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