Oberg, John Wesley

John Wesley Oberg

John Wesley Oberg was born Jan. 26, 1947 at Galahad Hospital to Wilmer and Donna (Bish) Oberg. He passed away from cancer, aged 77, on Feb. 27, 2024 at Daysland Hospital.

A memorial was held on March 24 at the Forestburg Community Centre.

He leaves to mourn his passing his children Carla Oberg Yorke and Pierre (Kristina) Oberg, his granddaughter Winter Oberg, the mother of his children René Neumann, his siblings Dianne Oberg (Marty Taylor), Gerry (Gloria) Oberg, Allen Oberg (Mariette Forseille), Marion Oberg Riise (Ken Riise), dear friend Colleen Brodyk, a large extended family and friends far and wide.

John was the second child in a family of five and grew up on the family farm east of Forestburg, Alta.

The three oldest children, Dianne, John and Gerry were very close in age. They rode the Merlyne Baird bus to Forestburg School, taking lunches in their jam cans until they proved they could be trusted to move up to “regulation” lunch kits.

The family lived in a lot of places in those early days. In the late 1950s their Oberg grandparents retired to town and the family, now including a baby brother Allen, moved into their residence on the farm – finally a house with power and running water!

John and Gerry began helping out on the farm when quite young with chores and operating trucks and equipment.

In high school they did most activities together – participating in school sports, curling competitively, 4-H, attending dances and parties. They were “those Beatles boys” – John altered some jackets and jeans in Beatles style, and the two of them wore their outfits, complete with the boots and the haircuts, pretty much every weekend to dances in the area.

After high school, John trained as a power engineer. He married René Neumann in 1965, and they had two children, Carla and Pierre.

The family moved to Edmonton where John worked for Edmonton Power and René took her Education degree. In 1973, they came back to Forestburg to join his dad on their cattle and grain operation.

John began farming with his brother Allen in 1980; their partnership in Prairie Hall Farms endured for more than 40 years. The past few years John was taking more time for interests outside of the farm, but he was still actively farming.

John worked to make things better, whether it was improvements on the farm or contributing his time and resources to organizations. This included serving as provincial co-ordinator of the National Farmers Union; being a founding board member of Battle River Producer Car Group and subsequently Battle River Railway; and volunteering on train excursions with the Friends of the Railway. He was a long-time member of the Masonic Lodge.

He was a man full of ideas; he loved to design and work on projects in the community. This included the Community Centre gazebo, converting the former Youth Centre to a train station and office space for the Battle River Railway, and preserving the former Alberta Wheat Pool/Agricore elevators that still grace the village skyline.

Family and friends were very important to John. He was a kind and thoughtful dad to Carla and Pierre, grandad to Winter, and a supportive son, brother, uncle and cousin.

John had many interests in life, such as ballroom dancing, classical and choral music, playing piano, and collecting art. He loved to socialize; he renovated and added to his home to accommodate entertaining. He hosted the Oberg clan for Christmas Eve lutefisk for 39 years running, helped organize Bish reunions, and in summertime, he offered his garage, complete with chandelier, for barbecues.

He and Colleen loved to travel in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, often visiting friends and relatives along the way.

Card of Thanks
The family would like to thank the Daysland Hospital staff for their attentive care of Dad and Grandad; the community for the many kindnesses shown to John and his family throughout his illness and after his passing; all those who assisted with the memorial; and everyone who attended the memorial, sent cards, flowers or food, called, shared hugs, or made a donation in John’s memory.

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