Local Obituaries

Robert Oswald, brother of Lee Harvey Oswald, dies at 83

Robert Oswald, center, grieves with other members of Lee Harvey Oswald's family  at a funeral service in Fort Worth on Nov. 25, 1963. From left are Oswald's wife, Marina, holding their daughter June Lee, 22 months; Robert, his brother; and their mother, Marguerite Oswald, holding her 5-week-old grandchild Rachel.
Robert Oswald, center, grieves with other members of Lee Harvey Oswald's family at a funeral service in Fort Worth on Nov. 25, 1963. From left are Oswald's wife, Marina, holding their daughter June Lee, 22 months; Robert, his brother; and their mother, Marguerite Oswald, holding her 5-week-old grandchild Rachel.

Robert Lee Oswald, the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald and a former resident of Fort Worth, has died at age 83, according to an obituary in the Wichita Falls Times Record News.

Mr. Oswald died on Monday and the family held a private service this week, the news site reported.

Mr. Oswald lived in Wichita Falls, about 115 miles northwest of Fort Worth. He met and married Vada Mercer in Fort Worth on Nov. 21, 1956, after serving as a Marine in the Korean War and made Fort Worth home for a time.

In an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 1997 and again in a 2003 ABC News interview and a PBS interview in 2013, Mr. Oswald said he believed his infamous brother acted alone in killing President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas -- alone and irrationally.

"Lee actually committed the crime, period," Mr. Oswald told ABC News. "It wasn't a master plan or anything. He wanted to be somebody."

Reporter Michael Leahy, who conducted the earlier Democrat-Gazette interview, gave his impression of Robert Oswald at the time: "By nature, he is affable, soft-spoken, gentle, a chronic laugher, utterly without pretense."

Mr. Oswald said he steered away from talk about the assassination and Lee Harvey Oswald with his children and grandchildren: “You can either light a situation or defuse it, and we chose a long time ago to [defuse] it,” he told the reporter. “Why put all of that on kids?”

He said he never seriously considered changing his name.

Mr. Oswald was born in New Orleans on April 7, 1934, to Robert Edward Lee Oswald Sr. and Marguerite, according to the Times Record News. After serving in the Korean War, he returned home and married in Fort Worth and then worked as a sales coordinator for a brick company in Denton.

He is survived by his wife, Vada, son and daughter, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

Tom Uhler: 817-390-7662, @tomuh

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