December 10, 2001
Dr. Beryl Julian Oser passed away Saturday, Dec. 8, 2001, at the age of 77.
Born in Newport News, Beryl was the true “Virginia Gentleman,” polite, modest and humble. Professionally and personally throughout his life, Beryl held himself to strict standards of integrity, loyalty and honesty. His grandparents, Beryl and Hannah Oser, were the first Jewish family in Newport News and were instrumental in establishing the Jewish Community in Newport News. Beryl was a life member of the Adath Jeshurun Synagogue, where his family was founding members.
An only child, he was the son of the late Harry and Jeanette Oser. Beryl had two passions in life, his love of family and friends, and his love of music, and each influenced and shaped his life greatly. At age 5, he convinced his parents to give him a violin. His two most gratifying years during his youth were when he conducted the Newport News High School Orchestra. As a conductor, they won State first place both years. His ability as a violinist and conductor allowed him to compete in the All Southern High School Competition. He played first chair both years under the baton of Howard Hanson, Director of the Eastman School of Music. In his early adult life, he played in the Virginia Symphony, Peninsula Symphony and local quartets and organized and chaired the music series of the Jewish Community Center. Beryl also had a strong commitment for community service, qualities he instilled onto his wife and sons. He was a Boy Scout Troop Leader and Team Doctor at Newport News High School. He was also Past Exalted Ruler of Newport News Elks Lodge and served on the boards of Beth Sholom, United Way, Hampton Downtown Redevelopment, Adath Jeshurun and many more organizations, always preferring to stay in the background. In his later years, he actively supported and contributed to the Chesapeake Diabetes, Camp Today Cure Tomorrow and the Leonard Strelitz Diabetes Institute Foundation.
After graduation from Temple University, School of Podiatry, he returned to Newport News to be close to family and open his medical practice. He practiced in Newport News for several years and was a podiatrist and consultant for the Veterans Hospital for more than 40 years.
Beryl’s love and devotion to family led him to give up his private practice in Newport News and join his family in managing Oser Brothers Shoe Store during the 50s. It was a unique combination of quality shoes fitted by a licensed podiatrist. He preferred the small Hampton Store which he soon built into one of the most successful independent shoe stores in the state. Due to his illness, he had to close the business in December of last year.
He was an avid walker and loved travel, but most of all he was a devoted husband to his wife of 51 years, Thelma Fine Oser, and devoted father to his sons, David and Nancy Oser of Richmond, Steven and Roberta Oser of Virginia Beach and Kenneth and Barbara Oser of Milton, Fla. Beryl was blessed with six grandchildren, Jeffrey, Courtney and Jennifer Oser of Richmond and Hilary, Carley and Elijah Oser of Virginia Beach.
Funeral Services will be conducted on Tuesday, Dec. 11, with graveside services in the Hebrew Cemetery on Kecoughtan Road. Rabbi Michael Panitz of Temple Israel will lead the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to either the Chesapeake Diabetes, Camp Today Cure Tomorrow, Chesapeake General Hospital, P.O. Box 2028, Chesapeake, VA 23327 or the Leonard Strelitz Diabetes Institute Foundation.
Peninsula Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.