Philip H. Osberg

Philip's Story

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Orono - Philip H. Osberg, 91, was a Professor of Geology at the University of Maine in Orono, 1957-1990. He was the son of Henry Osberg and Olive Walton, and was born October 23, 1924, in Melrose, Massachusetts. He passed away September 30, 2016, just four months after his wife Priscilla.
In 1968, he was the Chairman of the Geology Department at the University and he helped focus the then new and small department on glacial and Quaternary Geology with a multi-disciplinary focus. Formerly, he had taught at Penn State University and Colby College.
During the summers he worked for the Geological Survey in New England. He also helped edit the Bedrock Geological Map of Maine by the Maine Geological Survey in 1985. He published books, articles and geological maps, gleaned from his field trips in Maine and New England, striding through the wilderness with a rock hammer, looking at bedrock and taking copious notes. He made a contribution to the Plate Tectonic Shift Theory and was a Fulbright scholar in Oslo, Norway, with later sabbaticals at Oxford, England and with the Geological Survey in Virginia.
His interest was chemistry at Dartmouth College from 1942-43 when he began military training. He joined the Navy for World War II as a second officer manning PT boats. He was stationed in the Philippines and in Hawaii. He could navigate by the stars. His wife, Priscilla, said he was the only one qualified to bring a PT boat back home across the Pacific and through the Panama Canal when the war ended. He returned to Dartmouth, switched his major to Geology and met Priscilla. They were married on August 14, 1948. She supported him while he went to Harvard. They celebrated 68 years of marriage.
As a young man, Philip was an avid skier and could be seen in photos flying over a ski jump in the White Mountains. He taught his whole family to ski, bringing the two kids to the slopes as soon as they could walk. After retirement he became a gardener and worked as a 'cleric of works' and on several committees at The Church of Universal Fellowship. He could be seen climbing the clock tower to wind the clock before it was automated. He and Priscilla enjoyed a splendid sailor's life along the coast of Maine in their boat Windsong. In his late 80s, Philip began writing an unfinished textbook book on how the earth really began. Both he and Priscilla lived and died in the house they built together in Orono, and are survived by their daughter Susan Osberg, son Peter Osberg, and grandson Mathew Osberg.
The Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m on Saturday October 8, 2016, at Riverside Cemetery, Bennoch Road, Orono, officiated by Reverend Lorna Grenfell from the Church of Universal Fellowship in Orono. Following the service at 2:00 p.m., a coffee and tea reception will be held for family and friends in the Gathering Room at the church, 82 Main Street, Orono 04473. All are invited to attend.
Published on  October 5, 2016
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