Former LCA Secretary of the Church Myra Oster died late last month, aged 90.
Mrs Oster, who succeeded the late Pastor Kevin Schmidt, was part-time general secretary from mid-1991 until the end of 1993. She fulfilled the administrative elements of the role, while Dr Peter Lockwood oversaw pastoral-related matters. Mrs Oster’s work as secretary was during the tenure of President Dr Lance Steicke, who served in the role now known as LCA Bishop from 1987 to 2000.
She then worked as secretary at Lutheran Archives for 14 years, before retiring in 2007. Mrs Oster also served on the Board of Fullarton Lutheran Homes from 2002 until 2018 and was a past president of Lutherans for Life.
She was born Myra Fleetwood Phillis on 13 January 1930, daughter of Linda Alfreda and Robert Leslie Phillis at Tumby Bay, on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
Brought up in the Methodist Church, her family moved to Adelaide in 1942. As part of her education, Myra completed secretarial studies, excelling at typing and shorthand.
At age 20, she married Syd Oster and the couple had three children. The family moved to country South Australia, with Syd working as a farmhand and then with the Commonwealth Railways, with the Osters becoming cottage parents in a group foster home in Port Pirie in the late 1960s. It was there Myra was confirmed into the Lutheran Church by the late Pastor Ern Heyne.
After returning to Adelaide in 1971, Myra re-entered the paid workforce and was employed in various secretarial and administrative roles, including her time in the LCA’s then national office and Lutheran Archives. She also worked in politics in secretarial and personal assistant roles for former judge and state attorney-general Robin Millhouse in the South Australian Parliament and for Senator Janine Haines in Federal Parliament.
Syd Oster died in 2011. Myra died on 23 January 2020 and is survived by her friend Max and her children John, Leonie and Helen and their families.