February 23, 1928 – June 4, 2020
A family inurnment service will be held for Norm Oberst at Sunset Memorial Park in Coos Bay, Oregon. A public memorial service will be scheduled for a later date.
Norman “Norm” Ralph Oberst, died peacefully at his Coos Bay, Oregon home Thursday, June 4, 2020 from complications of heart disease. He was 92 years old.
Born in Portland, Oregon, Norm spent the first year of his life on his grandfather’s farm in Sherwood, Oregon, before his father, Henry, moved the family to Coos Bay. After graduating from Marshfield High School in 1946, Norm enlisted in the Army and served in Osaka, Japan as a radio operator. At Oregon Technical Institute in Klamath Falls, Norm became a member of the school’s first graduating class.
In 1949, Norm began a 46-year career in radio which included a 35-year run as the general manager and co-owner of radio station KURY in Brookings. Norm put in long hours to make the radio station profitable. But it was work he loved and, as an important resource for community news and local programming, a responsibility he embraced.
In Brookings, Norm was a prominent business and civic leader and served terms as president of numerous civic groups. In 1962, Norm was named the Jaycee’s Young Man of the Year, and in 2020 he received his 60-Year Pin from the Elks Club. Oberst served multiple terms as a board member for the Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative and was a member of the Oregon Association of Broadcasters.
In 2019, Norm was featured as a subject matter expert in the film, Samurai in the Oregon Sky. The documentary chronicles a 1962 goodwill visit by former World War II Japanese Navy pilot Nobuo Fujita at the invitation of the Brookings-Harbor Jaycees.
In retirement, Norm trailered to jazz festivals up and down the west coast of the United States and for many years, volunteered for the Coos Bay Clam Bake.
Norm is survived by his wife, Betty Oberst, of Coos Bay; sons, Daniel Oberst of Case Grande, Ariz., Steven Oberst of Medford, Ore., Gregory Oberst of Covington, Wash.; daughter, Julia Oberst-Washington of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; eight grandchildren; two great grandchildren; Betty’s children, Russ Gleason of Coos Bay; Rick Gleason of North Bend; Becky Gleason of Salem; Betty’s five grandchildren; ten great children; former wife, Shirlee Oberst of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; brother, Cal Oberst of Redding, Calif. And sister, Muriel Hynes of Coos Bay.
Norm was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Hazel Oberst; brother, Bruce Oberst and sister, Dorothy Leighton.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nelson's Bay Area Mortuary, 405 Elrod Ave., Coos Bay, Oregon 541/267-4216