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A LA DOUCE MÉMOIRE DE George Oehring

Colonel George Oehring, distinguished retired Army officer in the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, passed away on March 16, 2024, at the Ottawa Civic Hospital, surrounded by loved ones.

He was born on January 30, 1943, in Virginiatown, Ontario. Colonel Oehring was predeceased by his beloved wife Claudette (Couture) Oehring of 52 years, his mother Antoinette (David) Oehring of Mattawa, Ontario, and his father George Oehring of Formosa, Ontario. He is survived by his loving daughter Magda Oehring (Paul Macnamara), grandson Jacob LeBouthillier, and siblings Joan MacDonald, Barbara Vincent, Dave (Betty) Oehring, Peter Oehring, Christine (Brad) DeSchneider, Mark (Elaine) Oehring, and Susan (Steve) Ackerman, as well as many nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by siblings Anne Masching, Marlene Parcher Oehring, and Philip Oehring.

Colonel Oehring dedicated over three decades of service to the Canadian Armed Forces, joining in 1962 and rising to the rank of Colonel. He served three tours in Germany and held key positions within the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, including Deputy Commanding Officer of 1RCHA from 1978 to 1980,  Commanding Officer of 1RCHA from 1983 to 1985, and Director of Artillery. One of Colonel Oehring’s most significant contributions came during his tenure in the former Yugoslavia. He assumed command of Sector South in September 1993 and played a pivotal role in securing and maintaining a comprehensive ceasefire agreement, leading to improvements in living conditions and the removal of minefields in the area. For his exceptional leadership and service, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross in 1995.

Colonel Oehring was admired for his professionalism, diplomacy, and sense of humour. He treated everyone with respect regardless of rank and was fiercely proud of his country. He had a passion for music, literature, and a good glass of wine. George was an eternal optimist, right up until the end.

The family wishes to express their sincere thanks for the exceptional care that George received while living at the Willowbend Retirement Community, and to the Civic Hospital, especially to the palliative team, for their dedication and compassion.

A celebration of Colonel Oehring’s life will take place with interment at The Beechwood Military Cemetery on June 8th at 10 am, followed by a gathering for friends, former colleagues and family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Wounded Warriors Canada in honour of Colonel George Oehring’s commitment to serving his country and supporting fellow servicemembers.

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Condoléances

George was an Officer that gave his life to the Service of Canada, his love to his family , his respect to those that surrounded him and having nothing else to give he slipped the surly bonds of Earth!

Magda – May I express to you and all of George’s family, from Ina and myself, our most sincere condolences on your father’s passing. I count myself most fortunate to have had the opportunity to both serve with him and for him. He was a modest, kind, compassionate and, most assuredly, an intellectual, leader. Every aspect of his military service was remarkable – but certainly above all else was his UN service in Sector South in Croatia. He accomplished much through his astuteness, calmness and diplomacy. Undoubtedly he and those under his command, saved thousands of lives, while facing the most difficult of circumstances. May he now rest in peace.

Michael and Ina Walker

To the Oehring family I send my deepest condolences. I was a Cadet with George in 1963 and I have enclosed a picture of him taken in February 1963. I have no idea what was going on but I’m sure something was up and he was in on it. We served together a few times and it was always a pleasure to spend time with him. Always professional, always fun and always the epitome of a Gunner Officer, he was obviously a great leader. Good shooting my friend, stand easy.

George

Sad news indeed.
His commitment to his family, the Corps and friends will assuredly be missed and remembered, as was his unique and fun ability to see the humour in challenging times

Condolences to family and friends.
George will be greatly missed by all the Residents and Staff of Willowbend Retirement Community

What a fine gentleman. I served with George in 1 RCHA Lahr, Germany in the late 1970s. As a young officer, he left a very positive, lasting impression on me. He always had time for all of us – no matter what your rank. He helped instill in me a love for the written word. I remember his « memorable memos », like it was yesterday. My sincere condolences, to you Magda and your family. Rest in Peace George.

On behalf of the entire Regimental Family, please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of Colonel George Oehring. His long and very distinguished career in service to our country is an example for us all. He was an outstanding commanding officer and as Director of Artillery led the professional development of our Regiment. He was also a great mentor to a generation of Gunner officers who will fondly share memories of their service together in Germany, Canada and the Balkans. I remember his leadership and good humour above all and the influence of his calm professionalism continues to this day. Ubique.

Col Oehring was one in a million. A distinguished, brilliant, talented and well loved Gunner who never lost his touch for assisting all those for whom he served and those he so well commanded. He will not be replaced in the world of Gunners and beyond. Ubique my friend

Magda and the Oehring Family, our sincerest condolences. George was such a fine gentleman and truly professional officer; a thinker and doer! Very proud to have served with George and known Claudette. May they rest in peace together. Anne St-Pierre Holsworth and James Holsworth (RC Sigs)

Very sad news.
Unfortunately. I did not have the privilege to serve with Colonel George, but always enjoyed spending time with him when we met. An officer and a gentleman.
My sincere condolences to all the family and his friends.
Good shooting
End of mission.
Rest

To Magda and the Oehring family. The Mintz family extends deepest sympathies on your loss. George was an outstanding colleague, friend, and professional soldier in the many years we were privileged to know, work and socialize with him. We are deeply saddened to learn of you loss and we will cherish the memories of our time together.

Col Oehring was my first Battery commander( in 1975-D Bty Petawawa) when I joined the CF in 1974. He exemplified knowledge, empathy towards his subordinates and was always there to guide you in difficult times. I will always remember how he went up to bat for me during my youthful days . He was strict , fair and compassionate. His outstanding career is depicted through the very difficult and successful deployments he was tasked with which was a recognition by his superiors of his strengths.This officer and gentleman will always be close to my heart as I often think of him throughout the years. May you rest in peace and I am sure you will continue to look over us.My condolences to his family.

I had the good fortune to serve with George Oehring twice – first in 4 CMBG and later in Kingston, when a small group of officers and SNCOs stood up HQ 1st Cdn Div where he was CoS Adm.

In my over 30 years career in uniform, I can honestly say he was one of the best officers, and human beings, I ever met. My condolences to his family

May his memory be a blessing.

Janet and I send our condolences to Magda and the Oehring family. Col George was and remains in our thoughts as an outstanding Canadian, soldier, officer and leader. His command of 1 RCHA 83-85 were wonderful years of challenge, professionalism and fun. Col George and Claudette made 1 RCHA very much a family with their easy and welcoming manner. He was often heard referring to 1 RCHA as ‘First and Finest’! Those of us in the regiment thought we were (after all the ‘Old Man’ said we were). On multiple occasions we would assemble in the 1 RCHA Stand-Easy where his mischievous sense of humour recounted (embellished) the numerous and entertaining stories of Col George’s days as a subaltern. He related to people in a most natural manner and worked a conversation to make everyone feel good about themselves. For years after retirement, Jan and I saw Col George at various events around Kingston. He remained a great character, mentor and a true friend. Like so many, we will very much miss Col George Oehring. We salute one of the very best!

The Staff Officer Cadets and Military Training (SOC&MT) Major George Oehring called me to the Castle at Royal Roads Military College about a week after I arrived as a new cadet. His office was over the iconic carriage porch, looking up the Neptune Stairs. He wanted to know why my file said I was infantry when he knew I had been in the 30th Field Regiment. Did I want to be a gunner? Of course. It was quickly sorted. When I arrived in Germany eight years later, he was my CO. He made me proud to be a gunner, then and always.

I posted the following on Facebook when I first learned of Colonel Oehring’s passing, and I don’t think I can do better, so here it is again:

I just learned that my first Commanding Officer, George Oehring, has passed away. Most gunners that read this will know that by now. I thought so highly of Colonel Oehring that I just wanted to say so publicly. I wouldn’t go so far as to say he was a father figure, but any Second Lieutenant on joining a Regiment will know what I mean when I say he was damn near that to me. I served with him for only two years; it’s like that in the military. He made such a huge impression on me, though, that I never forgot what a great leader he was and how important a person he was to me at that time. I think it boils down to respect. You know, I would see him often at the Mess here in Kingston years later, long after he retired, and I could NEVER bring myself to call him George, as he asked to me to, and certainly not Mr Oehring. To me he was always, and always will be, « Colonel ».

scan0046

Sincere condolences to George’s family and friends. George, it was an honour to serve with you over the years. RIP, old friend. You’ve earned your rest.

George Oehring was one of my favourite people. I had the great pleasure of working for George both in and out of uniform. He was a kind, thoughtful man whose humour and informed opinion about pretty much everything was something I looked forward to. My sincere condolences to his family.

Our sympathies to the family and friends of this memorable man. We can celebrate the life of a gentleman who was kind, intelligent and had a wonderful sense of humour. Uncle George, you will be fondly remembered by all who knew you. Rest in peace.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we shall remember them. God speed, George.
George and I shared the past couple of years at Willowbend retirement, but we first met in the early sixties as subalterns at 1 RCHA in Gagetown. We worked together, but I got married n 1964 and was discharged as a 2LT -.-and George rose to Colonel! I often told him how smart he was!

He was a great Gunner I enjoyed working for him many years ago in A Bty 1 RCHA my thoughts and prayers go out to his Family and friends RIP

I have fond memories of growing up with George and his siblings in Virginiatown many years ago. I am very happy that I was able to visit him in Ottawa last spring after so many years. My condolences to the family.

George and I were fellow inmates in the 2RCHA/1SSM mess in the 60’s. Think Joan Baez,China Boilers,and Seen Briggs.Those were the days,my friend.
In the 70’s George was in 1RCHA and I was in HQ 4CMBG. George received a request from HQ CFE proposing the transfer of the 1RCHA Air Defence Tp. to CFE. George forwarded the letter to HQ4CMBG.His response consisted of the word NO all over the letter. Request refused. Great hilarity ensued.
George was a fine officer blessed with common sense and the ability to lead.People wanted to work with him.
I was privileged to be his friend.

Magda, Darlene and I send our deepest condolences on the passing of your dad. George and I served in 4 CMBG in from 1984 to 1986. We were then neighbours in Kingston on returning to Canada.
Your dad was a true friend and it was always my pleasure to enjoy his company be it at work or play. I remember him fondly.

Pete, Dave and Christine
Just saw this today. So sorry George is gone. Another V-Towner from a prominent family. Condolences to you and all your families.

Erik Fredeen
Ottawa

Hello George, my old pal from Virginiatown. Do you remember walking around on an ice floe as we floated down the Oromocto River at spring break-up? Do you remember that it was you who « invented » Boo Radley? Of course you do. Do you remember giving me the keys to your Porsche when you went to Canada for a month? I do. A great friend indeed.
Brenda and I will miss you, dear friend, as we do Claudette.
Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with Magda and the family. May they find strength and solace in the memories you shared.
Mike and Brenda

Re; Col. Oehring.

In my 35 years (and 83 days) in the military I must say that he was the best Commanding Officer, Army, Navy or Airforce, that I had the pleasure of serving under.
He was known to have a great sense of humor. I was subjected to that one day while setting up a coffee break in the hanger in the south marg.
He was talking to some air force folks, two of which had just arrived in two F18 aircraft from Canada.
They were there to see how the aircraft would fit in the hardened shelters.
As I entered the hangar he said to the pilots « for my money a measuring tape would have done the trick and saved a lot of money on fuel. »
He then turned to me and said « Chief Cook don’t you have a ration D.P. coming through? We could entertain these pilots on how those things are done over here. »
My retort was « no sir but give me a little time and I could organize one »
With a blink of his eye he said « not really required »
When they were finished he entered my office which was on the corner of the hanger and said « good answer on the rations »

On another occasion there were 28 regimental wives leaving for a bus tour of Berlin including the east side.
I took it upon myself to arrange for 29 (one for the driver) box lunches for the ladies and delivered them to the departure point.
It was 0600 or so and as the ladies entered the bus they were given a box lunch from the trunk of my car.
While having coffee in the Stand Easy that morning The RSM (Doug Gutin) approaches me and says the C.O. is a little curious
about the box lunches that were being dispersed. They looked different.
I had acquired some Box lunch boxes previously from a British regiment we were close to while on exercise. Their boxes had a plastic window in the cover and « British Forces » in large black print.
I mentioned to the RSM that I submitted a nominal roll for 29 Sr NCO’s under the heading RSM’s Training to cover the ration used.
As for the odd looking boxes I said « if there was a problem with the « British » boxes in the garbage in East Berlin, I guess the Brits would wear it.
I received a phone call from Col. Oehring that afternoon and he stated  » I will never question your methods again » Well done.

As well, his wife Claudette had asked me for assistance in her making of the Regimental Cook Book. A task I readily accepted and enjoyed very much
To this day when I refer to that book I have fond memories.

Dave Mattson CWO ret.
Victoria, BC.

Magda and family,

Jeannette and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of dear friend Colonel George Oehring. He was a superb officer throughout his career and combined the necessary traits with an easy-going nature and a brilliant sense of humour that was freely wielded. He excelled at bringing out the best characteristics and performance in both officers and soldiers who worked with and for him. He and his Claudette were simply a wonderful couple who loved to socialize, and excelled in that environment. Gone, but never forgotten.

He was a great leader and always a gentleman. It was an honour to have served with this great gentleman. The world has lost a great man. I always walked away whim learning something new. He was that knowledgeable and smart.

My deepest condolences to the Oehring family. George was truly an outstanding officer and gentleman whom I always greatly admired. I also remember his terrific sense of humour. He was the CO 1RCHA when I served as the Regimental Quartermaster, and then he was the Deputy Commander at CFB Gagetown when I was OC Supply Coy. Subsequently, our paths crossed occasionally in Kingston when I was passing through. A terrific person who will be greatly missed.

The memories and tributes on this page provide the measure of the man. Colonel Oehring was the epitome of an officer and a gentleman and I am grateful for his gift of example. The other Gunners of my generation and I will remember him always with respect and affection. I express my condolence to Magda and other members of George’s family, and to all who called him friend or comrade. UBIQUE

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