Norbert (“Bert”) Osvald was born on December 30, 1955 in Niedersimten, Germany and peacefully passed away on April 13, 2018, at Doey’s House managed by Hospice of Washington County in Hagerstown, Maryland. He was 62 years old. Bert came to the United States with his parents, Villo and Magdalena, and his brother Gerhard and sister Christel when he was only an infant. He resided for half of his life in Philadelphia, first in the Northern Liberties section, then Feltonville when his family had to move because of the I-95 construction project. When he met his wife Maria, also from the Northern Liberties section, it was through mutual friends as they would be partners in a wedding party. He and Maria didn’t know they would end up partners for life. They courted for 3 years and then married in 1979, having celebrated 38 years of marriage in 2017. They resided in the Olney section of Philadelphia before moving to Gaithersburg, Maryland, then Germantown, and finally ending up in Williamsport, Maryland, where they have lived for 32 years.
Bert studied Criminal Justice courses at a community college in Philadelphia but then changed his career plans and became a licensed stationary engineer. He worked for Fidelity Building Corp., then at Adam’s Mark Hotel and Parkview Hospital, followed by Cathedral Village retirement community. He was then offered a position by his boss at Cathedral Village to be Assistant Manager of Engineering at the historic Willard Intercontinental Hotel in Washington, DC, and was part of the startup team during the renovations in 1986 to reopen the hotel. Having realized that he preferred working with his hands rather than staying in management, he left for a position as a service technician for Ecolab in Maryland, focusing on the installation, repairs, and troubleshooting of commercial laundry and kitchen equipment. After 18 years at Ecolab, he was offered a position by a colleague starting up his own company, Laundry Equipment Services, Inc., in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, as a service technician to work on commercial laundry equipment. That would be his last place of employment. In 2015, Bert was diagnosed with peripheral artery disease and underwent surgeries on his left leg and foot. After many months, he recovered and was able to walk but not great distances and he could no longer work and drive the long distances as he had done for so many years. Life would never be the same because he so missed working with his hands and his colleagues. Bert never gave up his love for classic rock (especially Led Zeppelin), and enjoyed reading, working outside in the garden, and going on weekend getaways with his wife.
Bert ended up in the Emergency room at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Maryland, and was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer. He was moved to Doey’s House and just days later, passed away surrounded by family and friends. He is predeceased by his father Villo and his brother Gerhard. He is survived by his wife, Maria (nee Kyndus), his mother Magdalena, his sister Christel Kosempel (nee Osvald), his sisters-in-law Lydia Kyndus (Eugene) and Sandy Kyndus (Michael), and many nieces and nephews (John Kosempel, Michael Kosempel, Magdalene Fitzgerald (Dennis), Christina Kosempel, Korie and William Osvald, and Nicholas Kyndus).
The Funeral service for Norbert will begin 11:00 AM on Thursday, April 19th at the Fletcher-Nasevich Funeral Home, 9529 Bustleton Avenue. The family will begin greeting guests at 9:00 AM. Interment will follow at Saint Mary Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Elkins Park, PA.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations in Norbert's memory may be offered to Hospice of Washington County, 747 Northern Ave. Hagerstown, MD 21742.