Iowa 4-H Foundation

Posted on August 21, 2023 at 1:21 PM by Emily Saveraid

Howard CountyHoward County is honored to present this years Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame award recipients, the late Dr. Christian ‘Doc’ Eckert Oelberg and late Beverley ‘Arlene’ Oelberg.

Arlene graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High school in Des Moines in 1951. She attended Iowa State University, graduating in 1955 with her bachelor’s in Child Development. Doc Graduated from Waukon High school then served in the U.S. Air Force.  

In 1958 Doc & Arlene were united in marriage in Des Moines. 

Following their marriage, the couple resided in Ames while Doc finished his degree. He attended Iowa State University for six years where he received a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine degree in 1959. He worked as a veterinarian in Winthrop for a year, where they welcomed the birth of their son, Jim. In 1960 Doc and Arlene moved to Elma and took over the veterinary practice of Dr. W.C. McGrath and Arlene became a secretary for the practice. In Elma, they were blessed with two daughters, Edith, and Karen. Together, Doc & Arlene served the Elma area for 38 years, retiring in 1998. After retiring, Doc worked as a federal meat inspector for five years.

Throughout his time as a veterinarian, Doc volunteered his time within the Howard County 4-H program in many areas including livestock health checks and mentoring the 4-H youth and have made many monetary donations to the 4-H program.

Howard County has been privileged to have such outstanding Iowa State University alumni dedicating their time and service to not only the 4-H program, but also through the American Legion, Masonic Lodge, Eastern Star, and the Elma United Methodist Church. The coupled enjoyed rock hounding geodes, arrowhead hunting, visiting museums and flea markets, and watching their grandchildren grow.

Categories: 2023, Howard

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