Dr. Arthur Gene “Art” Osterberg was welcomed into his heavenly home on Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021 at Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino, Idaho with his daughter, Audra, holding his hand, and wife Deniece nearby.
Art was born on March 7, 1942 in San Jose, California to Arthur and Etta Jean (Gomes) Osterberg.
He grew up in Sunnyvale, California within walking distance to his grandparents, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
Art graduated high school from Menlo School in 1959. There he participated in Language, Yearbook, Publicity, Current Events, Radio Electronics and French Clubs. He went on to Foothills Community College in Los Altos Hills, CA where he earned his AA degree. From there he went on to Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR where he received BA and BS degrees in Natural Science and Optometry.
Art graduated with a Doctorate in Optometry from Pacific University in 1965. He was a member of the Theta chapter of the Omega Epsilon Phi Optometric Fraternity at Pacific University.
On May 27, 1964, at a fraternity dinner and dance, Art went on a first date with Deniece Mae Tippett of Enterprise, OR.
After a whirlwind romance they were married in Enterprise, OR on Aug. 29, 1964. They enjoyed over 56 memorable years of marriage.
Art passed away just 19 days shy of their 57th anniversary.
Upon receiving his Doctor of Optometry, Art joined the Army. He went through officer training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX. He was commissioned a Captain in the U.S. Army and stationed at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
From 1966 to 1968, Art performed optometry services for soldiers being sent to Vietnam.
Upon honorable discharge from the military, Art and Deniece moved and settled in Orofino, ID where he began practicing Optometry.
Art practiced Optometry in Idaho for the next 51 years. He hung his original shingle at a small office on Johnson Ave.
In 1980 he renovated a historic railroad section house located on the corner of Riverside and Michigan Ave. It became the Vision Arts Center and Crystal Optical.
Over the years he practiced at Looking Glass Optical in Kamiah, ID then the Eye Clinic in Orofino, ID. He practiced in Pierce, ID and Grangeville, ID over the years a well.
After he ‘retired’ he went to work examining eyes at other locations in the area including Excitement Optical in Moscow, Sears Optical and Lewiston Optical both in Lewiston, ID.
Dr. Osterberg finally put down his retina scope in 2019.
When Art was not checking eyes, he enjoyed his ranch on Wells Bench in Orofino, ID.
In 1969 Art became a cattle rancher and father.
Todd Ryan Osterberg was born on June 20, 1969.
Audra Donica (Osterberg) Frasier followed on Sept. 16, 1972.
Art was just as adept at ranching as he was at optometry. Doc by day, he was a natural rancher by evening and weekend. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his cattle, horses, dogs, cats and eventually llamas. He hauled 4H Horses, built and mended fences, stacked hay, plowed snow, cared for his land and did all the things a full time rancher needs to do.
His legendary work ethic and know how spanned from the refracting chair to the optical lab, the hay barn to the squeeze chute and all points in between. Art’s work ethic was unmatched even past retirement. He could do hard manual labor on the ranch better and longer than someone half his age.
Early in the Orofino years, Art was a member of the Clearwater Cattlemen’s Association and the Junior Chamber of Commerce.
He and Deniece also enjoyed square dancing.
Art and Deniece enjoyed traveling throughout the world together and with family and friends. They took 16 cruises together and enjoyed spending holidays and vacations at their Wallowa Lake, OR cabin.
Later, he was the long-time Chairman of the Board for Sanders Cemetery on Wells Bench Road.
He was also an active member of the Clearwater County Republican Central Committee.
Art leaves behind a legacy of knowledge, generosity, gentleness and kindness. He was a walking embodiment of the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ (Galatians 5:22-23) His love was not showy or loud. He showed his love by humble acts of service to his patients, community, church, family and friends. He was always there to lend a hand and to fix something broken. It is his family and friends that feel broken without his counsel and love. He touched the lives of several generations of Clearwater County residents. He gave many young people a first job, then became their mentor and advisor.
Art’s sense of humor was legendary and well known to his family and friends. He would tell amazing and fantastic stories with both a twinkle in his eye and total seriousness, leaving his audience not knowing what to believe.
He will forever be remembered in the lives of those he touched.
We are left with the healing comfort that he has gone home to the Lord. Art was a devout Christian, and we praise the Lord for the blessing Art was to everyone who knew him.
Art was a devoted husband to Deniece and a loving father to Todd Osterberg of Florida and Audra Osterberg Frasier (Brian) of Ohio and his grandchildren Brett, Mekenzie and Grace Frasier (Ohio) and Ryan Johnson (Columbia, SC.) and great granddaughter Adleigh (Columbia, SC).
He was a brother-n-law to Carol Kotz (Dean), and Uncle to Dominic Kotz and Deonne Lacie (Merle), as well as great nieces and nephews.
Art was preceded in death by his father Arthur Osterberg and mother Etta Jean Osterberg, formerly of Saratoga, California, and longtime residents of Orofino, ID.
Family and friends are invited to celebrate Art’s life at 10 a.m. on Sept. 25, 2021 at the Orofino Community Church located at 14233 Highway 12, Orofino, ID 83544.
The service will be livestreamed on the Orofino Community Church Facebook page for those who are unable to attend in person.
There will be a private family graveside service.
Pine Hills Funeral Chapel in Orofino, ID oversees arrangements.
Memorial donations may be made to Sanders Cemetery in care of 204 Woodland Meadows RD, Orofino, ID, or a charity of choice.
As Art would say, ‘put it towards the Lord’s work’.
Condolences can be sent to P.O. Box 1034, Orofino, ID 83544.