VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Roger Oberndorf, the husband of former Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf, passed away at the age of 75 Wednesday morning.
Meyera Oberndorf rose from a library board member to become the city's first elected mayor and held the seat for 20 years, until current Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms won the election in 2008.
According to his obituary, Roger Oberndorf passed away following complications from a brain injury.
He was born in New Jersey, attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Fairleigh Dickinson University. He earned his master's degree in organizational management at George Washington University.
Roger met Meyera at a New York City mixer in the early 1960s. Roger moved to Yorktown and enlisted in the US Coast Guard's Officer Candidate School and the two married in Hampton in June of 1961. Roger served active duty for four years in the Coast Guard and was promoted to captain. He served for 26 years as a reserve.
He then began work at the Ford Motor Plant in Norfolk. Roger and Meyera had two daughters and lived in the Kempsville neighborhood of Virginia Beach. The two were a popular couple in the community, often seen around town in one of Roger's Ford convertibles.
Roger became Meyera's campaign manager in the mid-1970s. When Roger retired from the Ford plant, he began working as a volunteer pilot for Angel Flights, an organization offering free air transportation to hospitals for those less fortunate.
Although he was a practical, military man, Roger's family and friends said they knew him and will remember him as a "man with an adventurous spirit, an irreverent sense of humor and a kind heart."
Roger Oberndorf is survived by his wife Meyera; daughters Marcie and Heide and their partners; his brother and two grandchildren.
A service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 19 at the Virginia Beach chapel of HD Oliver and Sons at 2002 Laskin Road.
A burial will be held at Hebrew Cemetary, 200 Piedmont Avenue immediately after the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be sent to the Town Center Kiwanis Club of Virginia Beach, PO Box 63111, Virginia Beach, 23666.
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