In memory of
Katherine Esther Oster
Katherine Esther Oster June 7, 1923 - Jan. 1, 2017 Grass Valley Born in Zap, North Dakota on June 7, 1923, the fourth of eight children of German immigrants Katherine and Abraham Wittenberg. After graduation from high school and as a Registered Nurse from St. Alexius Hospital nursing school, Katherine married her high school sweetheart Edwin Arthur Oster. They moved to Grand Forks and began a family while Edwin pursued his undergraduate studies. With three young children in tow, they continued on to Chicago where Edwin finished his medical studies at the University of Illinois. When it was time for Edwin to complete his residency and internship, they decided that the Golden State offered the most potential for their family's future. Now with four children and all their belongings packed into a 1949 Nash Rambler they drove to Stockton, where Edwin completed his training at the VA hospital and another child was born. The couple ultimately set up a medical practice which served hundreds of families in Cambrian Park. Katherine was the chief nurse and office administrator of the practice while tending to their children who now numbered seven. The Oster Elementary School in Cambrian Park was named after Dr. Edwin Oster. Tragedy struck on December 21, 1957, when Edwin died suddenly. Katherine never remarried. Katherine's sister Annabel and her husband Fred moved to the Bay Area to help Katherine care for her children, and the extended family moved into a rambling house in Campbell, where they lived until most of the children had finished their elementary and secondary education. During these years Katherine also served as the health teacher and school nurse for St. Lucy's Elementary School. Katherine, Annabel and Fred remained close over the years, ultimately occupying houses on adjoining pieces of property in the Los Gatos foothills. Later, they were neighbors in Mountain Ranch, California. Katherine moved to Lodi for a time after Fred passed away and Annabel had remarried. These were very creative years for Katherine. She found an outlet for her natural abilities in music with a local performance group, the "Choraleers." She also helped run a craft store for a senior citizens residence. Katherine later left Lodi to live near her youngest son and his family in Auburn, and moved to Grass Valley in 2015. Katherine was predeceased by her husband Edwin, six of her seven siblings, and her son-in-law Duane Fish. She is survived by her sister Minnie, her children Mary, David (Jeannette), Ronald (Diana), Susan, Edwin (Donna), Elizabeth (Michael), and Stephen (Marcella), as well as thirteen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She will be remembered especially for her strong Catholic faith and her emphasis on the transformative power of education, something she instilled in all her children. After sixty years apart, Katherine will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband following services to be held at 2:00 p.m. on January 13, 2017 in the St. Clare Chapel of Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln St., Santa Clara. Hooper & Weaver Mortuary 530-265-2429 View the online memorial for Katherine Esther Oster
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