Gary Richard Oberg, MD was born on August 18, 1946 in Chicago, IL. He died in his home on August 19, 2020, determined to live until his 74th birthday. Gary lived in Chicago until 1951 when his family moved to Mt. Prospect, IL. In 1961 the family moved to Crystal Lake. Gary graduated from Crystal Lake High School in 1964. He received a Rector Scholarship to De Pauw University, graduating in 1968 and went on to medical school at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine where he graduated in 1972. He completed a one year internship in pediatrics at Children’s Memorial Hospital and a 2 year residency in pediatrics at Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital. Gary joined the staff at McHenry Hospital (Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital) in 1975 and practiced medicine in McHenry County for the next 45 years.
Gary’s practice evolved over the years from pediatrics to allergies and hormonal imbalances and he became an accomplished and esteemed expert in the field of integrative medicine. He practiced with the goal of determining how diet and the environment contributed to the state of our health. His whole career was dedicated to his curiosity as to how the body survives being here on earth or, as he would state, “the elegance of human chemistry.” Gary’s passion and mission as a physician were addressing the causes of diseases rather than treating the symptoms with drugs. Gary joined the Society for Clinical Ecology (now the American Academy of Environmental Medicine) in 1980 and became president in 1990. After serving as president for 3 years, Gary joined the Board of Directors for the next 30 years as he continued to support the growth and training of new physicians in the practice of environmental medicine.
Gary served for 32 years on the District #155 school board. Throughout his time on the school board 36,446 students graduated and he greatly enjoyed the opportunity to speak at many of the ceremonies and present diplomas to the graduates. He was on the Building and Grounds Committee when Prairie Ridge High School was built and helped incorporate principles of good environmental practices in its construction. He helped approve several expansions and renovations over his many years on the board. In 2013 Gary was recognized by the Illinois Association of School Boards for being the longest serving school board member in McHenry County and one of the longest to serve on a school board in the State of Illinois.
Gary loved teaching, metaphors, chess, classical music, reading, movies, science fiction and fantasy, Saturday night poker games with his friends, his marvelous trips around the world with his special travel group and a good dessert. He was a devoted sibling, uncle and friend. He loved his family, all his staff over the past 45 years and his many “angels” here on earth. You know who you are. He was a brilliant, kind and generous man with a keen wit and open heart. He is forever grateful for all the patients who entrusted him with their complex health concerns.
He is survived by his sister, Melodee (Wayne) Markee, Crystal Lake, IL, brother Dean (Carol) Oberg, Johnsburg, IL, nephews Brennan (Cindy) Markee, Crystal Lake, IL, Tyler (Michelle) Markee, St. Louis, MO, Ryan (Emily) Oberg, Longmont, CO, niece Leatha (Donnie) Oberg-Baham, Shreveport, LA, step-nephews Jay (Melissa) Hollimon, Woodlawn, TN, and Douglas (Lesley) Hollimon, Hopkinsville, KY, grand-nieces Brianne Markee, Kennedy Markee and Juliann Oberg and grand-nephews Trevor Santiago and Owen Markee as well as many step-grand nieces and nephews. He is also survived by Cali, his beloved cat and companion over the past 9 years. He was preceded in death by his parents and his fiancée Laura Glab.
Visitation will be held at Davenport Funeral Home in Crystal Lake on Wednesday, August 26 from 2 to 6 pm with a private family service following visitation.
For the safety of all visitors, COVID-19 restrictions will apply. Temperatures will be taken upon entering the building and social distancing and masks will be required.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Dr. Gary Oberg’s name would be appreciated to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, AAEM, 6505 E Central Ave, Wichita, KS 67206 for the purpose of providing scholarships to medical students interested in pursuing a career in the practice of integrative medicine. The AAEM is a non-profit 501(c)3 tax deductible organization.
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