Share This Obituary


Oren Arthur Sterchi Jr., beloved brother, father and grandfather, found his eternal rest on August 18, 2017 in Houston, Texas. He was born to Oren Arthur Sterchi Sr. and Edna Mae Hammond on July 2, 1920 in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Oren was raised in Evansville, Indiana and graduated from Central High School in 1938 and Evansville College in 1947 with a degree in Business Administration. His first stint in college at the University of Texas at Austin was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II, when he rushed to join the United States Army. He served as a lieutenant with the 203rd Army Field Artillery Battalion in Northern France, the Rhineland and Central Europe. He had many harrowing experiences during the war, including nearly freezing to death at his forward observation post during the Battle of the Bulge, but also made several lifelong friends and was proud to have served his country with integrity and honor. He subsequently returned to the United States and served in the Indiana National Guard where he was promoted to Captain in 1951.

Oren met the love of his life, Vera Jean Kunnath, at the First Baptist Church in Evansville and married her there in 1949. Till the end of his days he credited Vera for turning him away from a life of whiskey and wild, wild women. In 1953 they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Martha Jean. The Sterchi family eventually settled in Dallas, Texas, and Oren, after exploring both law school and the ministry, embarked on a 30 year career as a pharmaceutical rep far Warner Chilcott Labs and a brief stint as a real estate salesman. He was also a passionate Civil War buff and maintained an expansive library on the subject.

After retirement, Oren and Vera traveled extensively throughout Europe, often revisiting places Oren had passed through during the war. They grew to especially love Bavaria and the Black Forest. Late in his life, Oren again proved his courage and fortitude by emerging alive and healthy from a long battle with prostate cancer.

Oren was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Merle, sisters Betty Lou, Dorothy, Mildred, Alma Rebekka, and Susanne. He now goes to join his beloved Vera, his daughter Martha, and his son-in-law Christopher Byrd. He is survived by his brother Joe, his grandsons John Brian and James Byrd and his grand-daughter-in-law Jennifer Byrd.