Donald Lee Oetter
Donald Lee Oetter
  • February 12, 1925 - June 6, 2017
  • Houston, Texas

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Donald Lee Oetter, husband, father and grandfather passed away on June 6, 2017 following a short illness.

Don was born February 12, 1925 in Joliet, Illinois, the second child of Conrad John Oetter and Pearl Mabel Deist. He grew up in the town of Frankfort, Illinois with his brother Kenneth and two younger sisters Betty and Faye. He attended St. Peter's United Church of Christ, where he sang in the choir. He often assisted his father Conrad in his construction business. He attended Joliet Township High School, class of 1943, where he played basketball and coronet in the school marching band.

Following the start of WW2 and prior to high school graduation Don qualified for acceptance into the US Navy's V-12 officers training program. He enlisted June 11, 1943, entering active duty November 1, 1943. He attended Midshipman training at Northwestern University and Harvard University, earning a BA in business. Commissioned an Ensign February 20, 1946, he was assigned to the Aviation Supply School Jacksonville, Florida then transferred to the Naval Air Station Yonabaru, Okinawa where he served as Pay Master.

Following his discharge from the Navy, Don returned to Frankfort where he soon went to work as an accountant with Shell Oil Company in Chicago. In 1954, Shell transferred him to New Orleans, Louisiana where he worked as an auditor. There he met the love of his life, Rena Frances Barcelona. Don and Rena were married April 16, 1955 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. They soon moved to Bissonet Plaza, in Metairie with their newborn daughter, Susan. Five years later their second daughter Maria was born. In 1964, Don transferred to Shell's New York City office; and the young family relocated to Ramsey, New Jersey. Six years later, Don made his last move with Shell to Houston, Texas where he worked as a federal tax accountant. The family settled in the western suburb of Spring Branch - where Don would live out the rest of his life. He retired from Shell in 1985, after 38 and a-half years.

Don was a devoted husband and father. He was also: an avid gardener, lover of music and sports of all types. A long-suffering follower of Houston' sports teams, he rarely went a day without checking the newspaper box scores. He coached girls softball, and played on the Shell's slow pitch softball and bowling teams. After retirement, he looked forward to his weekly tennis matches with other Shell retirees. He enjoyed travel, family gatherings and the occasional round of casino gambling. Don was a member of the American Legion Post 1098, Frankfort, Illinois. He was a long time member of St. Jerome Catholic Church, Houston, Texas.

Don was preceded in death by his parents Conrad and Pearl Oetter, his brother Kenneth and sister Betty. He is survived by his sister Faye Watkins of Ennis, Montana, his wife of 62 years Rena Oetter, his daughters and sons-in-law Susan & Dr. Sam Yared and Maria & James Hooper. Six grandchildren: Michelle Hooper, Mariel Hooper, Michael Yared and his wife Jessica, Dr. Nicholas Yared, Katherine Yared and fiancé Stuart Proudfoot, Christopher Yared, and great grandchildren Addison and John Yared.

A memorial Mass will be held on Monday, July 3rd at 11:00 am in the sanctuary of St. Jerome Catholic Church, 8825 Kempwood Drive, Houston Texas 77080, (713) 468-9555.

Following a reception at the church, the Rite Committal will begin at 2:15 p.m. on Monday, July 3rd at Houston National Cemetery, 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive in Houston, 77038, (281) 447-8686. Members of the United States Navy and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #8790 Honor Guards will provide military honors.