Cover photo for Robert Louis Oldenburg's Obituary
Robert Louis Oldenburg Profile Photo

Robert Louis Oldenburg

November 13, 1925 — August 18, 2023

Cleveland Heights

Robert Louis Oldenburg

Robert Louis Oldenburg, 97, died peacefully on August 18 at Judson Park in Cleveland, OH, after a full and vibrant life. A life-long Clevelander and one of four accomplished brothers, Bob was born to Dr. and Mrs. Frederick Christian Oldenburg on November 13, 1925. Bob graduated from University School in 1943, then matriculated to Case Western Reserve University, where he met his beloved wife “Buster” (Barbara Alcey Stevens) in Spanish class. They married in 1949, and Bob began his 37-year career at Pickands Mather & Company. After earning his law degree in night school, Bob went on to serve as PM’s General Counsel. Bob and Buster raised their three children in Cleveland Heights. In 1998, when Judson announced plans to convert the stately and historic Bicknell Mansion into senior apartments, Bob and Buster knew they had found the perfect retirement home.


Bob significantly enriched the lives of everyone around him with his welcoming nature, child-like wonder, and giving spirit. With Buster’s support, Bob contributed substantially to the education of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. While Bob was the model of generosity, always making family a priority, he was also a devoted friend to all, finding time to help others with taxes, with plants, with time, and with treasure. A master gardener, Bob nurtured relationships with the same loving care that he lavished on his geraniums. Bob had the most remarkable memory and especially delighted in recalling humorous details of past adventures with family and friends. Living life to the fullest, even after losing his dear Buster in 2014, after nearly 65 years of marriage, Bob remained active and purposeful, a shining example of fortitude and optimism. A man of “action,” Bob regularly visited family across the country, attended concerts, lectures, and exercise classes, kept abreast of current events and the stock market, served on Judson Committees, and was a devoted member of Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. In 2020, Bob was awarded the Judson Philanthropy Award in recognition of his exemplary service.


Aspiring to continue Bob’s legacy of love and kindness are his three children: Sallie Adams (Jess), Julie Bramble (Guy), Robert Oldenburg, Jr. (Lee); his seven grandchildren: William Adams (Meghan), Henry Adams (Ewo), Barbara Ross (Justin), Kristen Ferguson (Jay), Jamie Bramble (Kathryn), Hannah Dokken (Joe), and Madeleine Oldenburg; eleven great-grandchildren, brother Alfred Harvey Oldenburg (Josette), and many other family members and friends whose lives he deeply touched over many years. Bob is preceded in death by his brothers Dr. Frederick Alan Oldenburg (Chloe) and Richard Christian Oldenburg, Ph.D. (Dorothy).


The Oldenburg family wishes to thank the Judson staff, who cared so lovingly for Bob in his last years. Donations in Bob’s memory may be made to the Bob Oldenburg Tribute Fund at the Judson Foundation, 16600 Warren Court, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023 or to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Hts., OH 44106 where a Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm, Saturday, October 21. 

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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