James Donald Oberlender passed away peacefully on May 26, 2023 at his home, surrounded by family. James was born on March 14, 1939 in Lucien, OK to the late Roy and Lillie Oberlender. Jim’s early years were spent on their 80-acre farm near Covington before moving to Enid with his brothers, Fred Almon Oberlender and Garold (Gary) Dee Oberlender until finishing high school.
James started working at a Pepsi-Cola bottling company. From there, he worked at several filling stations in the area and S & Q Clothiers. In the summer of ’58, after his freshman year of college, he joined a wheat harvester crew starting in Texas up to Canada with his youngest brother, Gary, who was only 16 at the time. They slept in a school bus and worked their way up the Wheatbelt driving combines. Jim attended a trade school in Oklahoma City for mechanics and then decided to enroll at Oklahoma State University. He graduated in the fall of 1964, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
After college, Jim moved to Texas, and took a sales job with an electrical component manufacturer and designer, Thomas & Betts. He then was transferred to Elizabeth, NJ, where he would eventually become the Executive VP in 1985. After retirement, Jim was recruited as CEO to turnaround Insilco Technologies Group which brought him to NC. Following his success at Insilco, Jim led an investment group that acquired Fulton Bellows in 1999. Fulton was sold in 2003 and Jim went on to start a successful local transportation company, XpressOne Transport, with his son, Kerry Oberlender. Jim was an inspired business strategist and took pride in the many positions he held throughout his career.
Jim had many passions such as cars (especially the fast ones), trout fishing, tractors, boating, riding horses, and trips to his farm in Chase City, VA. He loved nothing more than sharing these experiences with his family and friends. Throughout his life, he made lasting impressions on those around him. He was a charismatic and unforgettable man. He will be truly missed by all.
In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his beloved oldest brother, Fred Almon Oberlender. He is survived by his younger brother, Gary Oberlender, as well as his children, Kimberly Ann Carrigan and husband Jason Carrigan, Kerry Oberlender and wife Lisa Oberlender, Karen Stark, John Giampolo and wife Diana Giampolo, and Elaina Shipman and husband Cory Shipman. Jim is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.