Monday, October 5, 2009

Closing One Book...

...and opening the next.

It's hard to believe everything is done. A week ago he was upstairs and we were up to our ears in medicines and nurses and log books and hopes and prayers and dreams and today the house lies wrapped in the uneasy silence of work that has suddenly ground to a halt.

The wake and funeral were wonderful send-offs to him. Alphagraphics, in Red Bank, did a lovely job printing cards upon which we had written the following:

Arty’s Legacy

We in the Oberle family have been comforted, encouraged and humbled by the prayers, love, well wishes and ultimately condolences we received during Art’s illness. As he grew weaker, we began reading the letters, cards, e-mails and posts Art received aloud to him. As we did so, we glimpsed a world of people whose lives he touched and changed, invariably for the better, without ever letting us know what he had done. A gentle leader, an enthusiastic teacher and an irrepressible optimist, Art always had time to lend a hand to someone in need before moving quietly on with his day. He preferred not to talk about those he helped and how he helped them and he never wanted recognition for his actions; accolades made him uncomfortable. He gave of his time, skills, knowledge and contacts freely and expected nothing in return. He gave because it was the right thing to do.

You’ve come here today to honor and remember a truly good man. As you leave, please help us carry his legacy forward by committing a single, unheralded act of kindness. Help someone for the sake of being helpful and then tell no-one what you’ve done, but in your heart say, “That was for you, Arty, because that’s what you would have done.”

Dom and Sharon worked extra hard to make sure everything was beautiful for the cards and also for the funeral programs. Then they brought the programs to the church and served as Eucharistic ministers at the mass. We are so grateful to them and to all the other people who stepped in to help us limp through laying Dad to rest.

There were people who sent food (thank goodness because we certainly weren't grocery shopping).

There were people who sent flowers (thank goodness because half the time we weren't showering).

There were people who ran errands and held babies and provided strong shoulders upon which to fall in tears. All will be thanked individually, but all must be acknowledged here and now - thank you thank you thank you.

Sadly, Dad's grandchildren are too young to get the full benefit of having him for a grandfather. Kurt, Chris and I can tell them he was an amazing man until we are blue in the face, but there are stories that we don't know, or that are not nearly as good second-hand (or third-hand) as they are when told by the person who lived them. In order to preserve as much of Dad's colorful personality and history as possible, we have created an e-mail address in his memory. It is:

If you have a story (or several stories) or a recollection about Dad, or if you're willing to share with his grandchildren what he meant to you, please e-mail We are collecting the e-mails and putting them into a book, along with the cards and letters and other well wishes that he received during his illness. On behalf of the children, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to give them a glimpse of what a fun, warm, caring, funny guy he really was.

I'll close this portion of the blog out with the prayer Christian chose for the prayer cards at the funeral home. I feel like Dad would have approved of it:

When I Must Leave You

When I must leave you for a little while
Please do not grieve and shed wild tears
And hug your sorrow to you through the years
But start out bravely with a gallant smile;
And for my sake and in my name
Live on and do all things the same.
Feed not your loneliness on empty days,
But fill each waking hour in useful ways,
Reach out your hand in comfort and in cheer
And I in turn will comfort you and hold you near;
And never, never be afraid to die
For I am waiting for you in the Sky!

I am not certain of the fate of the blog. Perhaps it will retire; maybe it will continue on under a new name - a place to remember Arty along with I will post when I have a better idea of what is to come. For now, I am going to sign off, power down and take a few moments to rest and remember that incredible man I was lucky enough to call "Dad".



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dad's Obituary

85 Riverside Avenue
Red Bank, New Jersey 07701

Obituary of Dr. Arthur J. Oberle, D.D.S.

Dr. Arthur J. Oberle, D.D.S., of Colts Neck, passed away at home on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 from complications related to pancreatic cancer. He was 70 years old. Dr. Oberle worked as a dentist at his office in Red Bank for 27 years, and also as an associate with Dr. Victor Buccellato, in Freehold.

He is predeceased by his parents; Arthur O. Oberle and Margaret (Polhemus) Oberle, his stepfather; Everett Polhemus, and sister; Peggy Ann Hyland.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years; Lee (Scuderi) Oberle, two sons; Kurt Arthur Oberle and his wife Keri of Charleston, SC and Christian Arthur Oberle and his wife Jane de Bretteville Blair of New York, NY, his daughter; Constance Oberle Geoghan and her husband Daniel F.X. Geoghan of New York, NY, his sister; Rosemary Lamurey of Brick, NJ, and three grandchildren; Anna Lee and Katherine Geoghan and Jacob Oscar Oberle.

Dr. Oberle was born and raised in Tottenville, New York. He graduated from Wagner College and, after a period working as an electrical engineer, attended the New York University College of Dentistry. He graduated in 1969 and practiced on Staten Island before moving to New Jersey in 1972. He was an avid sportsman who had a particular affinity for piloting private aircraft, sailing traditional and ice sailboats, skiing, traveling and most water sports. Dr. Oberle was a member of the New Jersey Dental Society, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, the New Jersey Aero Club (past president), the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the Lake Morey Protective Association (member, Board of Directors), the North Shrewsbury Ice Boat and Yacht Club and the Monmouth Boat Club. He was a communicant of St. Mary’s RC Church in Colts Neck and of St. James RC Church in Red Bank and he was a Eucharistic minister at St. Anthony’s RC Church in Red Bank. He served our country as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps (Active Duty and Reserve).

Visitation will be held on Friday, October 2, 2009 from 2-4 & 7-9 pm at the John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank, NJ. A Mass will be celebrated at 9:00 am on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at St. Mary’s RC Church in Colts Neck. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Pancreas Cancer Research and Development Fund, Fund No. 205568, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021. Letters of condolence can be e-mailed to the funeral home’s website

Just the Facts, Ma'am

The wake will be held on Friday, October 2, 2009 at the John E. Day Funeral Home in Red Bank, NJ. There will be an afternoon and an evening viewing. The contact information for the funeral home is:

John E. Day Funeral Home
85 Riverside Ave
Red Bank, NJ 07701-1007
(732) 747-0332

The funeral will be held at 9:00 AM on Saturday, October 3, 2009 at St. Mary's Church in Colts Neck, NJ. St. Mary's Church is located at the corner of Route 34 and Phalanx Road. Directions to St. Mary's Church are set forth below:

Directions to St. Mary’s Church – Colts Neck, New Jersey

Garden State Parkway from the North:

Take the New Jersey Garden State Parkway south to Exit 109. As you pass through the tollbooth, take a right turn onto Newman Springs Road. The sign will indicate Lincroft.

After about a mile you will come to a traffic light. The

Lincroft Inn is on your right and gas stations on your left. Go through that light staying in the left lane.

In about 100 feet you will come to another traffic light. Make a left turn onto Phalanx Road and travel approximately 3.5 miles to entrance. St. Mary’s is on the right just before the traffic light at Route 34.

Garden State Parkway from the South:

Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 109 and follow the sign for Lincroft which will be on your left. (If you head toward Red Bank you are going in the wrong direction. Follow the directions as above.

New Jersey Turnpike from the North:

Take Exit 11 onto the Garden State Parkway. Proceed to Exit 109 and follow directions as above (G.S.P. from North),

New Jersey Turnpike from the South:

Take Exit 7A to Route 195 East. Proceed approximately 30 minutes to Exit 35B for Highway 34 North. Take Hwy. 34 North 10 miles on divided highway following Matawan and Colts Neck signs until you come to Colts Neck. St. Mary’s will be on your right at corner of Hwy. 34 and Phalanx Road.

Route 18:

Take Exit 19 indicating Route 34 North. At second light make a right. St. Mary’s is on the corner of Hwy. 34 and Phalanx Road.

The Final Flight

It's hard to believe I'm writing this, but it's over. Dad passed away this morning. Today is the anniversary of the day his mother passed away, and somehow it makes sense that he chose to go with her on this day. I will miss him terribly, but I take comfort in the knowledge that he is finally at rest.

I will post information relating to services as soon as I have it. For right now, please let me thank you all once again for your love and your prayers and your support. We could not have made this journey without each and every one of you.



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Weeks Later

Wow - I can't believe it's been two weeks.

Dad was released to hospice care a week ago this past Friday. We've all been sticking by the house as much as possible since then, trying to be some help to Mom and to him. The neighbors have been amazing - the food - the cards - the *food*! I don't know what we would have eaten without the generosity and culinary skills of our friends.

Dad isn't able to take visitors. He is very weak, but still trying to rally. It's hard to see him so sick.

We continue praying for our miracle, but hope is coming in shorter and shorter supply as we stare defiantly in the face of what may prove to be a grim reality.

I would like my next post to be about the amazing turn-around he pulled off - about how he cheated this disease of its victim and banished it forever. I believe in the power of positive thinking, so I am going to draft it now. That way when it's time to publish it, I won't have to step away from our celebratory party to write it up.



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Greeting from Sloan-Kettering... Again.

So here we are. The cancer is causing a blockage in his small intestine. He's going to have surgery today to install a drain in his stomach so that food doesn't have to try to pass through the cancer-laden area. We're targeting a release on Friday or Saturday and anxious to get him out of here. No offense to the folks at MSKCC, but we don't want to stay here one minute longer than is absolutely necessary.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Of Course...'s a blockage. He has a partial blockage in his stomach. He also has an elevated white blood cell count, very high potassium and terrible dehydration. He has taken 3 bags of saline this afternoon and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Not sure what, if anything, can be done for the blockage, but at least he's being made comfortable. He, Mom and Kurt have been in the ER since this morning - they're just moving him into a room now. It's nearly 11:00 PM. Mom and Kurt said the ER at Sloan is teeming with people. The rooms are full. The halls are full. The waiting room is full. It's just cancer cancer everywhere.

What a flippin' mess.