Emil Oberg, 94, Albert Lea

Published 10:39 am Thursday, November 21, 2013

Emil “Swede” Oberg, 94, of Albert Lea was taken to be with the Lord on Saturday morning, Nov. 16, 2013, while he peacefully slept at the Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea. His memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at First Lutheran Church. The Rev. John Holt will officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences are welcome at www.bayviewfuneral.com.

Emil Oberg

Emil Oberg

Emil L. Oberg was born at his grandmother’s home in Twin Lakes on Feb. 27, 1919, to Edward and Addie (Nelson) Oberg. He was baptized, attended Sunday school and confirmed at Lunder Lutheran Church in rural Twin Lakes. The family lived in a log cabin on a small, rocky farm that his ancestors had chosen and built on when they came to America. He really did walk more than a mile across fields to attend country school. He seldom lived at home after age 12. He worked and lived with the neighboring farmers. Swede attended Albert Lea High School through the 10th grade riding with a neighbor friend until she graduated. There was no other transportation for him so he reluctantly had to end his formal education. He had a drive to learn and continued to educate himself on many topics. He had a special interest in astronomy. He read three or four books a week that his daughter would get him at the library up until two weeks before his passing.

It was while Swede was living and working at the Archie and Lavina Allison farm that he started dating Lavina’s younger sister, Betty. He and Elizabeth “Betty” Nelson were married in 1940. To this union three daughters were born, Sally, Jean and Susan. He and Betty farmed for a short time with her father until they moved to Albert Lea. They joined and became active members of First Lutheran Church. Swede served as an usher and often poured wine for communion services. Betty was taken from them after a short bout of cancer in 1960. He married Anna (Olson) Emerson in 1964 and became “dad” to her Emerson boys Bruce, Bradley and Robert. To this union one son, Steven, was born.

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Swede worked at Wilson & Co. until he entered the Army Air Force in 1943. He was stationed in Okinawa as a Chief Aircraft Mechanic. After the war he was hired by Boyd & Jack’s in the meat department. After a couple of years, National Tea hired him as meat department manager. After they were forced to close he took the civil service exam and was hired by the U.S. Postal Service where he worked as a letter carrier until his retirement 23 years later. While working as a letter carried he also took a part-time job at Larson’s Grocery until that was forced to close. After his retirement he worked part time at the J.C. Penney store in maintenance until that closed. Leon Ellis asked him to work at the Skyline Hardware store. He worked there for 15 years until it closed. He often said that he helped close four stores.

As a child, Swede enjoyed hunting, skinny-dipping in a nearby secluded creek with his two brothers and the neighbor boys, going sliding down Oberg Hill on a toboggan his father had made for his four children. Many neighborhood children would gather there on Sunday afternoon and bright moonlit nights. In his later years, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling and golfing with his many good friends. He prided himself on the good lefse he made for his family and friends. Swede was an active member of the American Legion and the VFW. He enjoyed taking Meals on Wheels to people who needed them, until his declining health forced him to quit.

He leaves to miss and remember him his wife, Anna; children and their families Sally and Jack Moore, their son Greg and his wife Lisa and their children Hayley and Tyler; Jean and Ed Schlede, their three sons and families; Don and Dana Warner and daughter Alice; Randy and Angie and their children Luke and Abby; Dustin Schlede and daughter, Emma; Sue and Richard Michaelis, children Christine and Mike Zeiher and son, David; Rob and Abby and daughter, Ava; Bruce and Lynette Emerson and daughters Traci and Amy and her children Jayden and Shaelee; and Steve and Stephanie and their children Jack and Emiliah; daughter-in-law Jean Egenberger and her two children Bradley and Anna Emerson; sister-in-law Shirley Oberg; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends he so appreciated.

Swede was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; his parents; brothers Frank and Jim (Dorothy); sister, Pearl (Jim); sons Bradley and Robert Emerson; grandchildren Jeffrey Moore and Marie (Warner) Staiger; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Swede was a most loving and supportive husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend. Blessed be his memory.

Memorials are preferred to the Mayo Clinic Health System hospice or the Peace and Power Ministry of First Lutheran Church.