|Local Deaths - Joseph B. (Buddy) Oram, MD|
Published: Friday, 18 January 2013 06:37
Dr. Joseph B. Oram passed away on Jan. 7, 2013 at Eden Hospital Medical Center in Castro Valley. He was born Oct. 3, 1925, in Stowe, Pa., and raised in the small town of Lester in the heart of the coal mining country of southern West Virginia. He was a loving and caring husband, father, and grandfather.
The apple of his eye was his wife Louise (Lui). He loved his family and took pride in being involved in their lives.
He is survived by his dearest wife Louise, born in South Bend, Ind.; a daughter, Susannah Oram deHaan, and husband, Gregg deHaan of Alameda, and children Buddy, Brooke, and Alice; and a son John Oram and wife, Michelle and children, Malena and Viviana of Berkeley. He is also survived by niece Deborah Williamson of Sophia, W.Va. He was preceded in death by his sister Iowa Williamson and his parents Georgia Reger Oram and Harold Joseph Oram.
Oram graduated from Trap Hill High School, Surveyor, W.Va., in 1943. He loved football and played halfback on the high school varsity team for two years. He also enjoyed playing trombone in the band. After graduation he thought he would be going back to Portsmouth, Va., where he had worked in the Norfolk Navy Yard, but instead enrolled at Concord College, Athens, W.Va., to study chemistry, math and biology.
In 1944 he was inducted into the U.S. Army and served 15 months overseas in the Philippines and Yokohama, Japan. Basic training was at Fort Knox, Ken., in medium tanks. Specialized training for the invasion of Japan was in amphibious tanks and tractors at Fort Ord, Calif. After 30 days of zig-zagging across the Pacific, he disembarked at Luzon in the Philippines.
In September 1945 he arrived in Yokohama, and was transferred to the 28th Medical Laboratory in Yokohama where he soon became the non-commissioned officer in charge of the chemistry lab and later the Acting First Sergeant of the 28th Medical Laboratory at which time he was promoted to Technician 3rd Grade (Technical Staff Sergeant).
After discharge from the Army, he enrolled at Concord College and graduated in June 1948. His college activities consisted of being voted by the student body as "Red White" for the May Pole Festival, member of the Beta Sigma Mu social fraternity, awarded the Beta Sigma Mu Scholarship Key, serving as a member of the student council, student dormitory proctor and member of the Chi Beta Phi honorary science fraternity, student chemistry laboratory instructor, member of the American Chemical Society, member of the Kappa Sigma Kappa social fraternity, and elected to the Blue Key National Scholastic Honorary Fraternity.
In September 1948 he enrolled at West Virginia University Medical School where he was a member of the Phi Beta Pi National Medical fraternity. In 1950 he transferred to the Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, from which he graduated in June 1950 with the degree of doctor of medicine. He interned at New York University, King County Hospital, Brooklyn. This was followed by six years of general practice as the company doctor for Glen Rogers Coal Company in southern West Virginia. Fresh from an internship and starting a new practice where the nearest hospital and laboratory was 30 miles away, he had to learn to use his knowledge and intuition to treat 40 to 50 patients a day. Home deliveries were the norm. However, he had a delivery room in his office and delivered several babies a week. On one occasion he delivered a patient her 14th baby and the following morning she was buying groceries at the company store. This was a significant period in Oram's life during which he made many friends. He became a steward in the Beckley First Methodist Church. He also joined the country club in Beckley, W.Va., and learned to play golf. In retirement he continued to enjoy golf weekly with friends Emmet Steed, Lou DeAbreu, and Arnie Celaya.
In 1958, after six years of general practice in southern West Virginia, he began a residency in internal medicine at the University of Iowa. His internal medicine residency was followed by a one-year Fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, where he was assistant clinical professor of medicine from 1962 to 1972. In 1964 he joined the San Leandro Medical Group where he later became medical director. In 1969 he began practicing internal medicine, gastroenterology and allergy with Drs. Philip Strauss, Jay Julius and Laszlo Hites in San Leandro.
His activities in the medical community consisted of serving as president of the East Bay Society of Internal Medicine; Alameda Contra Costa County Medical Association; council member of the Professional Services Committee, California State Medical Association; chairman of the Department of Medicine and member of the executive committee, Vesper Memorial Hospital, San Leandro; member of Alameda Contra Costa Medical Association, California State Medical Association and American Medical Association.
Throughout his medical career Oram chaired or was a member of numerous hospital committees for Vesper Memorial Hospital and San Leandro Hospital. He loved the practice of medicine, his patients, and the challenges they presented both in the office and hospital.
Oram was a 50-year Master Mason, Blue Lodge #151 Mullens, W.Va., and a 50-year member of Beni Kedem Shrine, Charleston, W.Va., a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a York Rite Mason.
He was listed several times in Who's Who of California and was proud to belong to the Sons of the American Revolution, Thomas Jefferson Chapter. He sponsored a Little League Baseball Team (Dr. O's) in Alameda for 20 years. Oram believed that Little League baseball promoted team spirit, integrity, and self esteem. He was also track coach for St. Joseph's school for one year. Oram loved traveling, skiing, golfing, swimming, bowling (187 average!), reading, and staying current in the ever-changing field of medicine. He and Louise honeymooned in Hawaii and returned to Maui each summer for more than 40 years.
The Oram family would like to thank Dr. Ravi Arora and Dr. Jeffery Silvers and the nursing staff at Eden Hospital Medical Center for their excellent care during Oram's illness. The family also greatly appreciates all the caring friends and neighbors who expressed their love to Oram through supportive prayers, visits, cards, letters, phone calls and meals.
Funeral services will be private. A celebration of life will be held at his home in Alameda at a later date.
In Dr. Oram's memory, donations may be made to: Shriner's Hospital for Children, Shriner's International Headquarters, 2900 Rocky Point Dr. Tampa, FL 33607- 1460, (800) 241-4438.