John S. Oehler ’63

John S. Oehler, Jr. of Richmond, VA passed away on January 17, 2022 after a long fight with Parkinson’s disease. John was a beloved husband, a devoted father, and a lifelong educator.

John was born June 6, 1941 in Kannapolis, NC to John and Lucile (Lipe) Oehler. John was the eldest of the three “Oehler boys,” and he thrived in the activities of First Presbyterian Church, Boy Scouts, and frequent visits with his Lipe cousins in Landis, NC. John lived in Henrico County, VA for over 40 years after earning degrees from A.L. Brown High School and Davidson College and his doctorate from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. John was the beloved husband of Mary Sue (Sassaman) Oehler for 56 years, a devoted father of three, and “Papa” to five grandchildren, who delighted him above all.

John loved connecting with people and serving others; he was a leader who listened well, kept a good sense of humor, and prioritized faith and family. John committed his career to the School of Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he served as Dean (1985-2002) and cheered on VCU Rams basketball. Music was also an enduring passion. His saxophone enlivened many family sing-alongs, and he joined church choirs, most recently at Epiphany Lutheran.

He was predeceased by his brother James Oehler (Sandy Oehler Delonis, Orlando, FL). Survivors include his wife, Mary Sue; children Susan Herrick (Greg) of Phoenix, Michael Oehler (Anne) of Durham, and Annabelle Allard (Mark) of Arlington; grandchildren Lars Oehler, Siri Oehler, Hannah Allard, John Allard, and Elsa Allard; brother George Oehler (Jaynelle) of Hampton; sister-in-law Annabelle Wenzke (John) of York, PA; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Arrangements are by Woody Funeral Home – Parham.

A funeral will be held at Epiphany Lutheran Church on February 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM to be immediately followed by a reception. Gifts in memory of John S. Oehler may be given to the John and Mary Sue Oehler Scholarship for Urban Education, VCU School of Education, P.O. Box 843042, Richmond, VA 23286; or to Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1400 Horsepen Road, Richmond, VA 23226.