Dr. Donald Lane Oestreicher was born near Dashwood, Ontario on the 29th of April, 1920. He was the eldest of 3 children born to Aaron Edward Oestreicher and the former Flora Jane Lane. He was raised on a farm and his siblings were; Eunice Eleanor Oestreicher and Lenore Oestreicher (who died as an infant). Dr. Oestreicher graduated from Exeter High School prior to attending university.
Dr. Oestreicher enrolled in medical school at the University of Western Ontario and graduated M.D. in 1943. While he was attending the University of Western Ontario he played in the university band. Four years later Dr. Oestreicher obtained a Master’s degree in pathological chemistry.
Dr. Oestreicher married Mary Elizabeth Murray in 1949. Mrs. Oestreicher was born in Weston, Ontario on the 8th of April, 1926. She was the youngest of 5 children born to Walter Andrew Murray and the former Sarah Maria Martin. Her father was a carpenter and her siblings were; Walter Clifford Murray, Lorne Bruce Murray, an infant brother who was born and died in 1915 and John Leo Murray. Mrs. Murray was a registered nurse.
Dr. and Mrs. Oestreicher had 3 daughters; Elizabeth, Dawn and Janice.
To further his education, Dr. Oestreicher completed five years of post-graduate training in internal medicine at Victoria Hospital and Westminster Hospital, both in London. In 1950, he became certified as a specialist in internal medicine by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 1957, he received a Fellowship in the American College of Physicians and Surgeons.
Dr. Oestreicher moved to Chatham in 1951. He was the first physician to establish an internal medicine consulting practice in the city. He designed the coronary care unit at the Public General Hospital, thereby introducing electrocardiogram use and interpretation to Chatham. Dr. Oestreicher also educated nurses on how to analyze the electrocardiogram test results. He served as the Chief of Medicine at the Public General Hospital for thirty-five years.
Dr. Oestreicher retired in February, 1989. In 1974, the Oestreicher family lived at 38 Tecumseh Road (Chatham).
When not practicing medicine, Dr. Oestreicher enjoyed playing the organ and playing golf.
Dr. Oestreicher passed away on February 26, 2002. He was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham. Mrs. Oestreicher died at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance on the 1st of February, 2023.
*Dr. Oestreicher’s sister, Dr. Eunice Eleanor (Oestreicher) McKishnie graduated M.D. from the University of Western Ontario in 1949. She practiced medicine in Elgin County with her husband Dr. John McKishnie.
**Mrs. Oestreicher’s brother, Dr. John Leo Murray served with the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII.