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James "Jim" Oberndorfer '56 May 4, 2022 1:11 PM updated: May 4, 2022 1:14 PM

James Edwin Oberndorfer
January 27, 1934 - April 16, 2022

Jimmy Oberndorfer, 88, joined the heavenly choir on April 16, 2022 in the Spring Cypress Senior Living Center in Cypress, TX. He was born on January 27, 1934 in Harlingen, TX to Ethel Boyer Oberndorfer and Arnold Edwin Oberndorfer. Jimmy was baptized March 11, 1934 in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Harlingen, TX. The Oberndorfer family moved to Houston, TX when Jimmy was 10 years old. He was confirmed March 21, 1948 at Trinity Lutheran Church & School by the Rev. Oliver Harms. Jimmy graduated from Trinity Lutheran School on May 30, 1948 and graduated from Lamar High School on May 29, 1952. Jim attended Texas A&M in the class of 1956, where he was a member of the Corps and Singing Cadets. He also attended the University of Houston where he continued his studies in Industrial Engineering.

Jim met Thelma Synatschk on a Walther League trip in 1955. Jim and Thelma were married on August 23, 1958 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Houston by Jim’s uncle, Rev. Martin Oberndorfer. They were blessed with three children - Doris Claire, Helen, and James (Buddy).

After spending 35 years in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Jim and Thelma returned to Houston where they became members of Our Savior Lutheran Church. Jim enjoyed faithfully serving as an elder and head usher for many years.

At the age of five, Jim played the fiddle at church and that sparked his lifelong love of music. Jim enjoyed classical music and traditional hymns, and he sang in the Houston Lutheran Chorale for 12 years while commuting from Colleyville.

Jim & Thelma traveled together frequently. They took multiple trips to Europe, including Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Italy, and many other stops in between. During these trips Jim built an extensive collection of beer steins which he proudly and prominently displayed in his home.

When he wasn’t traveling, Jim was an avid gardener and landscaper and could often be found working in his yard. He was a Harris County Master Gardener with a love for Plumerias. He enjoyed sharing plants with friends, family and neighbors.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents Arnold & Ethel Oberndorfer and his sister Doris Aileen Schmidt & her husband Paul Walter Schmidt.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Thelma Oberndorfer, his children: Doris Claire Theiss & husband David, Helen Ruth Landry, and James Arnold Oberndorfer; his grandchildren: Edwin Paul Landry, Andrew Carl Landry, Jacob David Theiss, and Anna Marie Theiss; his great-grandchildren: Luke Paul Landry and James Jacob Theiss; his nieces and nephews: David Schmidt, Don Schmidt, Felicia Battle, and their families; along with numerous other cousins and cherished friends.


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