W. Frederick Oettle, Ph.D., known fondly as "Fred," age 68, of Newark, DE, passed away suddenly at home on Wednesday, December 26, 2012.
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Fred was born in Alton, IL, on August 21, 1944, son of the late Kenneth Oettle and Laverne Jones Oettle. Intelligent, talented, and motivated from childhood, young Fred proudly attained the rank of Eagle Scout before graduating from high school. He would go on to earn his bachelor's degree from Hope College in Holland, MI, and his doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Kansas. Following graduation, he taught for a time in the chemistry department of Columbia University, before accepting a position with the DuPont Company in Wilmington. After a successful 16-year career with DuPont, Fred became a highly-respected project management consultant and professional trainer. He also worked for two years with GE Healthcare as a hardware development project manager, before his retirement in 2010.
Fred's keen and lively mind led him to variety of interesting hobbies throughout his life, including model railroading. In the early 1980s he was active in the productions of the Wilmington Drama League. He was also a seasoned world traveler, whose favorite adventures included a trans-Canadian railway trip; a river cruise in Holland; and a catamaran cruise in the Caribbean that he captained himself. Fred was a passionate reader, an enthusiastic history buff, and a tireless, patient educator. Shamelessly fond of puns, he never passed up an opportunity to delight family and friends alike with his nimble and inventive wordplay.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 28 years, Deborah E. Resler; brother, Kenneth Oettle (Roberta) of FL; mother- and father-in-law, Jane and Charles Resler of SC; brother-in-law, David Resler (Susie) of DE; sister-in-law, Sandy Myers of OH; brother-in-law, Mike Resler (Erin) of AZ; and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, December 29th, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, where visitation will begin at 1 pm.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), 455 Stanton-Christiana Road, Newark, DE 19713.
To sign guest book, visit
Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home - New Castle
1000 N. DuPont Highway New Castle, DE 19720
Published in The News Journal on Dec. 28, 2012