October 1, 1930 – December 4, 2014
We, who deeply loved Anita Joan Oesterreich celebrate her amazing and generous life, remembering her unconditional love for us as a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, and mentor. On the evening of Thursday, December 4, she died peacefully at home, with her children and husband holding, singing, and praying with her, making her journey from the fullness of this life into the peace of God’s open and welcoming arms.
Anita was born on October 1, 1930 as the first daughter of Gertrude and Fred Easton of Detroit, MI. She was a sweet and sensitive girl, who embraced a strong work ethic and Catholic faith as well as a life-long devotion to family. Anita and her sister, Betty, were five years apart but could have been twins for their special closeness and fond memories of spending time at their grandmother Cora’s house on East Center Street in Bellefontaine, OH. She attended Denby High School, started working at Sanders Ice Cream Parlor at the young age of 16 and then onto the Civic Record Shop. She always had music in her life!
In 1953, at the age of 23, Anita moved to California for an extended stay with her family. She met a group of girls, from as far away as Canada, that quickly became life-long friends. They moved in together and formed the “House of Five”. Dancing, exploring, and being active in the Ingleares Club of Inglewood. She worked at Park Davis, then at the Edison Co., where she met the handsome Bill Oesterreich in February of 1956.
Bill “Willie” and Anita “Smittie” (their special names for one another) were engaged in December of 1956 and married on May 4, 1957. In 1959, they planted roots in Costa Mesa, CA, where they started their family (Bill-1959, Bob-1961, Kathy-1962, Patty-1968).
She was now called, “Mom”! She stayed home to care for her children, showing them the WAY to love, laugh and care for others through her own selflessness. Encouraging them to follow their dreams and interests (dance, music, sports) and being at every performance, recital or game. In her spare time (ha ha), Anita became active in her community with the Girl and Boy Scouts. Volunteering on many committees with St. John the Baptist school and church, Mater Dei High School and the All American Boy’s Chorus and attending bible study.
Family time was PRECIOUS to Anita! Hosting special family birthday dinners and children’s parties, decorating for EVERY holiday (especially Christmas, her favorite) and taking vacations in the family Aljo trailer! What fun it was to explore the beautiful U.S. countryside without a phone or TV.. just her children and husband by her side.
Anita, in just a snap of the fingers it seems, became our beautiful “Mimmie”! Having 8 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Oh, what joy these children brought her; five in WA, three in CA, and one in OR. She DID everything for them from babysitting, to special gifts and parties to attending as many of their functions as possible. The grandchildren fondly remember camping in the Lazy Daze, swimming at the pool, playing with the dogs at the dog park, baking cookies, and her famous spaghetti and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! She was EVERYTHING to them and they were EVERYTHING to her! They are all present today, from ages 20 months to 32 years. What a testament to the great love foundation that she built and nurtured through the decades.
Being separated from her sister and family back east was sad for her, but it never was a stumbling block. She made sure to visit yearly and was well known and loved by all. When word was out that Aunt Anita was coming, everyone cleared their calendars.
In 1998 Bill and Anita moved to Irvine, CA. They travelled together and well, did just about everything together! What a rewarding marriage journey those 57 years were together.
Anita, with her RADIANT and infectious SMILE, was the forever optimist, the quintessential “glass is always full” person. Giving positive advice, comfort, and peace, allowing us to gain hope. She was a daughter of God. Always seeking her own comfort in prayer, scripture, mass and the rosary.
Cancer, that dreaded diagnosis, cut our time with Anita short. But even in those final days, she STILL continued to be her AMAZING selfless person. Giving us the gift of caring for her, asking us to “please don’t change the way you live your lives”. What a blessing it was for us to see and feel the peace and love of Christ in the room, while she climbed the last few steps up the ladder to heaven. Our last time as a family of six.
As we mourn and release her into God’s care, we trust that her spirit is with us now and always will be: in our hearts, homes, families, children, and faith. She has become our guardian or spiritual guide. She was always the “go to” person, who has now BLAZED our way up to HEAVEN.
Rest in peace our BELOVED, SPECIAL and ALWAYS REMEMBERED ANITA .. until we wrap our arms around you again! We will be there in a blink of an eye ..
I asked God to take away my pain.
God said, No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to give up.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No. Her spirit was whole, her body was only temporary.
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No. Patience is a by product of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is learned.
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No. I give you blessings. Happiness is up to you.
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to me.
I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No. You grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No. I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.
I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as he loves me.
God said .. Ahhh, finally you have the idea
Anita leaves behind her husband Bill and their children: Bill Oesterreich, Bob Oesterreich, Kathy and husband Brett Carr, Patty and husband Darrell Burthe; grandchildren: Chaz and wife Kelsey Carr, Kelson Carr, Brett Carr II, Rebeka Carr, James Bayless, Corinne Burthe, Hayden Burthe, and Mallory Burthe; great-granddaughter Addilyn Carr; sister Betty Lou Kolly; and many loved nieces and nephews.
Flowers may be sent to:
25301 Alicia Pkwy
Laguna Hills, CA 92653