Clarke County lost a native son, Joe Donovan Oehlert, on May 5th of this year. He passed away in Stockton, CA - one day after the passing of his beloved sister-in-law Mabel Oehlert. Joe is remembered by many friends and family as a wonderful man - kind, thoughtful, and generous - with a warm smile and a loving heart.
Joe, also called “JD” by his family, was born July 20, 1921 to Herschel and Emily Oehlert. He was raised on the farm in Woodburn, IA along with his brothers Allen, Bob, and Bill.
After graduating from Osceola High School, Joe studied at University of Iowa, working for one of the deans to pay for his tuition.
With America involved in a war, Joe joined the Army Air Force. He served as a 1st Lieutenant Fighter Pilot and was awarded decorations of American Theatre Ribbon and Victory Ribbon. All of the brothers served their country during WWII - Bill in the Army, Bob in the Marines, and Allen in the Naval Air Corp, the later loosing his life on a mission over the Pacific.
After the war, Joe moved to Los Angeles and continued his studies. He graduated from University of Southern California (USC) with a BS degree in Commerce and began his career in business. There he met the love of his life, Elizabeth, married, and had one daughter.
15 years later, Joe returned to USC to earn a masters degree in Public Administration. He then embarked on a career of public service in the finance department for the City of Beverly Hills, the library department for the City of Pasadena, and finally as the Department Head, General Services for the City of San Jose.
Joe made many friends along the way with his winning personality and sincere concern for the well being of his fellow man.
After retiring, Joe and Elizabeth moved to Stockton CA.
He was active at Central United Methodist Church. He loved animals, music, good food, and people.
Joe is missed every day by Elizabeth, his wife of 64 years, and by daughter April and her husband John. He is loved and remembered by “the twins” - brothers Bill and Bob (Jean) and their children: Karen (Chris) Friedlander, Kathi, and Kevin. Emily Miller, Marty (Becky), Swede (Terri), Liz (Charlie) Harger, E’Lynne (Lonnie) Stone, and Mary. Brian was already with our Heavenly Father and was there to join his mom and uncle JD when they arrived.