Robert L Oswalt 1923-2007

Links to audio files:
KPFA radio broadcast of early 1960s featuring music of Pomo Indians and Robert Oswalt (28 minutes)
Robert Oswalt talking on March 13 2006 about work in many dying languages (6 minutes)

These small photos link to larger photos:
1924 with brother John
1925 with brother John and mother Mildred
1925 with brother
1925 with brother John
1925 with brother John
1930 with father John Roy Oswalt
approx 1930 in snow pile
approx 1931
1952 Wedding
1952 at wedding reception with bay view
1954 house constrution
1954 house construction
1955 with son John
1957 Geyserville area
1958 with son Edward
1959 with brother John
1959 In his living room with mother Mildred
1959 with anthropologist Samuel Barrett and Pomo roundhouse
1960 with Essie Parrish
1960 Christmas photo
1962 Christmas in living room with sons, mother Mildred, Esther
1962 Mexico
1965 Hong Kong
1970 with cacti
1973 Greenwich
1975 Tombstone, AZ
1975 Fort Huachuca with brother John
1975 with pet geese
1977 near front of house
1977 picking his apple tree
1977 in home office
1978 near side of house
1978 near front of house
1979 Vancouver
1980 with brother John and mother Mildred
1980 at home
1980 at home
1980 near front of house
1980 yosemite
approx 1980 with Esther in Mexico
1986 Pruning tree at home
1986 Pruning tree at home
1987 with Betsy (wife of brother), John (brother), Edith (mother of wife)
1987 with Esther in Kenya
1987 with Esther in Kenya
1988 with Esther on road above house
1988 studio photo
1988 studio photo
May 2000 in dining room
May 2000 with Esther in dining room
2002 on patio with son John
2002 in dining room
2002 visiting Middletown cemetery
2003 Christmas
2003 Christmas
2004 Christmas
Nov 23, 2006
Gravestone, Tuskegee, Alabama

Click here for text of biographic speech by Ed given at June 30 memorial service.
Click here for SF Chronicle obituary

Brief summary, as was in Contra Costa Times:
Robert L. Oswalt passed away peacefully at his home on May 22, 2007 after a general decline in health. He was born March 6, 1923 at the army post at Fort Huachuca, Arizona where his father was a doctor. He moved frequently with his family throughout his youth, living on Army posts around the United States and in the Philippines. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley (BS in Chemistry) in 1943 after which he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

After the war, he returned to Berkeley, lived at International House (I House), and earned an MS in Chemistry. He worked at the Radiation Lab in Berkeley and continued to participate in activities at I House where he met Esther Smith who became his wife in 1952. They built a home in Kensington, CA where they lived for over 50 years and where they raised two sons, John and Edward, enjoyed the natural setting of the home, and where Robert nurtured hundreds of species of plants.

Robert's lifelong interest was in languages and in 1956, he enrolled in the Linguistics Department at the University of California at Berkeley. His pioneering work with Pomo Indians of northern California led to his PhD from U.C. Berkeley and publication of the book, "Kashaya Texts" in 1964. His belief in the importance of language preservation and desire to help new researchers continued throughout his life. He published in a wide variety of linguistic subjects including English orthography and comparative linguistics. He assisted Kashaya tribal members in preserving their language and their songs.

Robert is survived by his wife, Esther; sons, John and Edward; granddaughter, Ariel; and nieces, Ruth Oswalt Epstein, Barbara Oswalt Wynn, and Mimi Oswalt Bolduc.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on June 30, 2007, at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, 1 Lawson Road, Kensington, CA 94707.