Orlyn C. Oestereich, 83

JULY 21, 1927-JAN. 1, 2011

January 05, 2011

BOONSBORO — Retired Col. Orlyn C. Oestereich, 83, of Boonsboro, Md., passed away Saturday, Jan, 1, 2011, at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Md.

Born July 21, 1927, in Corsica, S.D., he was the son of Frederick and Dirkie (Berggaker) Oestereich, and the second youngest of 11 children.  

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Helene, in 1987.

Orlyn proudly and bravely served his country in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps for 37 1/2 years, and retired in 1984. He earned a master’s degree in hospital administration from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

He was drafted during World War II at the age of 18 and served in Germany. He received a battlefield commission during the Korean War and a Purple Heart during his service in Vietnam. He was stationed in Japan in the 1950s and did a second tour of duty in Germany from 1975 to 1979, where he was the hospital administrator at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (formerly Second General Hospital). He completed his military career as commander of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.


After retiring from the Army, he volunteered for many organizations. Known as “Opa” to the kids, he volunteered as a mentor to many children at Paramount Elementary School in Hagerstown.

He served on the Washington County Gaming Commission and was active with Clopper-Michael American Legion Post 10 in Boonsboro. Orlyn also served as commander for the American Legion Department of Maryland from July 2009 until July 2010. He was a member of the Silver Spring Masonic Lodge 215 A.F. & A.M. for more than 50 years, where he rose to become a 32nd Degree Mason.

Orlyn is survived by his loving wife of 21 years, Connie (Lowman) Oestereich; his two children, Lisa Oestereich of Silver Spring, Md., and Mark Oestereich of Frankfurt, Germany; and his two brothers, Norman of Nebraska and Russell of Kansas. He is also survived by his five grandchildren, Carlie, Brittany, Gabriel, Adrienne and Yanna. The family extends a special thanks to his neighbors and best friends, Jim and Kelly Rohrer.

A memorial gathering will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 at Bast-Stauffer Funeral Home, 7606 Old National Pike in Boonsboro. A memorial service and interment will be scheduled at Arlington National Cemetery. Details will be released at a future date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Col. Orlyn C. Oestereich to the Humane Society of Washington County, 13011 Maugansville Road, Hagerstown, MD 21740 or online at

Expressions of sympathy may be offered to the family at

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