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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Obituary: Donald Lee Obert

Grandfather, husband, decorated US Navy veteran, engineer

Donald Lee “Don” Obert was born November 8, 1935. His father, William John Obert, was from New York and his mother, Betty Jane Bohley, from Cleveland.

Don grew up with his father near the mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles. Those were delightful early years which saw bus trips to Santa Monica Beach with his cousin, Pat, fishing off the Redondo Beach pier, and many other family outings. For a short time while his father served in World War II he attended boarding school in Alhambra, but came home on weekends.

Following his graduation from Montebello High School in 1953, he enlisted in the US Navy. His three and-a-half years of service took him through the South Pacific where, in May 1955, he witnessed Operation Wigwam, a nuclear test meant to assess the vulnerability of submarines. He proudly received two National Defense and Good Conduct awards and chose to remain in the naval reserves until November 1956.

After returning home he attended Mount San Antonio College. It was there that one of his professors, Bob Irvine, introduced him to Myra Louise Sebastian from Youngtown, Ohio. They were married on August 30, 1958, and were blessed with three children; Lianne in 1964, Thomas in 1965, and Michael in 1968.

In 1963 Mr. Obert earned his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. After graduation he worked at General Dynamics in Pomona for about 10 years, and then as a civilian employee at the US Naval Weapons Center in Norco, California for another two decades.

After retiring at age 62 he enjoyed working as a repair technician for vending machines and arcade games.

Shortly after Myra’s death in 2005 he met Bobbie Moore at a bereavement group, and they married in July 2007. The couple spent 13 happy years together in Claremont.

“Don was a wonderful father to his children, to whom he gave unlimited time and energy,” his family shared. “He planned many weekends and vacations around the western states with his young family, from fishing in the high sierras to rockhounding in the California desert. He gave gentle guidance with affection and never profanity. Don had a special charm that drew people near. His caring and honest nature were evident to even casual acquaintances. He was a tireless worker, a genuinely loving man, and faithful to family and friends.”

Mr. Obert died at home in Claremont, surrounded by his loving family, on October 23, shortly before his 85th birthday.

He is survived by his children, Lianne Adama, Thomas Obert and Michael Obert; his dear wife Bobbie; three grandchildren; and a large extended family.

“His beautiful loving spirit and warm friendly smile will live on in our hearts,” his family added.

“May his gentle soul now rest in perfect peace.”

 

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