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John Bramley Oldershaw, M.D., JD, Captain MC USN (retired)
Memorial Visitation Saturday May 15th from 10 to 11 am at St. Nicholas Church.
Memorial Mass Saturday May 15th at 11:00 am
Burial Location
Arlington National Cemetery

John Bramley Oldershaw, M.D., JD, Captain MC USN (retired) affectionately known as JohnnyO, passed into the arms of Christ on April 10, 2021 at his home in Burr Ridge, Illinois.

John was born in Evanston, Illinois on November 10, 1932 to Hallock and Gertrude (Liebman) Oldershaw.  An infant son, Charles Anthony, his parents, and sister Mary G. Lerps preceded him in death.

John began his academic career at Loyola Academy where he excelled in swimming and years later was honored when inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame.  He earned his BS at Loyola University and his M.D. at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine. He went on to complete his internship at the US Naval School of Aviation in Pensacola, Florida serving as a designated Flight Surgeon followed by a general surgery residency at the US Naval Hospital in San Diego, CA. He returned home to the Chicago area to complete his Neurosurgery residency at the Hines VA, Mercy, and University of Illinois hospitals under the direction of Harold C. Voris, M.D.  Never one to stop learning, John earned his JD degree from the John Marshall Law School in 1990 and his LL.M. degree from DePaul University Law School in 1994.

John lived a life of service, showing his love in both deeds and in words. He served his country in the US Navy for twenty-three years serving on the USS Repose during the Vietnam conflict, then as Chief of Neurosurgery, US Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, IL. After retiring from the Navy, he served at Cook County and U of I Medical Center hospitals as an Attending physician and for a time as Chairman of the Division of Neurosurgery, Cook County Hospital and Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the U of I College of Medicine.  Upon retirement from CCH and U of I he began another full-time career at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque as an Associate Professor Neurosurgery, Attending Physician, University Health Science Center. A highlight of his tenure at UNM was meeting Paul Turner, M.D., who became a dear friend and traveling companion.

In later years, John enjoyed practicing law, always helping those in need, with his Loyola classmate, John O’Connor Tuohy. They spent hours discussing cases, researching, going to court, and eating Belgian waffles.

Throughout his years, John participated in volunteer opportunities with the Chicago Archdiocesan lay mission outreach, Solidarity Bridge in Bolivia, the Joliet Diocese mission program in Barongan, Philippines and the University of Idaho Icefield Research Project in Juneau, Alaska.

John is survived by his best friend, loving partner, and wife Angela (Schrimpl), his children John (Susan Wyatt), Mary Oldershaw (Charles Schult), Dominic, Caroline, Robert (Sheila Squier) and Jane (Bradley) McCrea and their mother Carol Oldershaw.  He was the very proud Grandfather of Robert (Bobby) and Julia Oldershaw and Audrey McCrea.  He was the dear brother of Fr. Robert Oldershaw and Sandy O McLaughlin, brother-in-law of William (Linda) Schrimpl, Kathleen (Mark) Vandlik, fond ‘Unc’ of nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews. He also enjoyed years of companionship and support from Friends of Bill W, especially the Brain Damaged Group, for whom he was very grateful.

John was a lover of life, always exploring.  He loved travel, playing the banjo, Starbucks flat whites, Schweppes tonic, oysters on the half shell, fly fishing, the Midnight Special, fresh squeezed orange juice, Saturday afternoon operas, cross country skiing and snow shoeing, string ties, rag wool socks, coupons, monks and monasteries, squash, the NY Times book review, lilacs in the spring and red leaves in the fall, sunsets, sailing and so much more!

A celebration of John’s life will be held May 15, 2021 at St. Nicholas Church, 806 Ridge Avenue, Evanston, IL. Visitation 10AM. Mass of Christian Burial 11AM. Private family burial at Arlington National Cemetery.

To attend the funeral, advance registration is required. Links to registration will be available on the St. Nicholas website under Mass Schedule ( or by calling 847-864-1185. The funeral mass will be live streamed. The link will be available through St. Nicholas Church or Adolf Funeral Home, (

In lieu of flowers, we request that donations in John’s memory be made to:

Mepkin Abbey, 1098 Mepkin Abbey Road, Moncks, SC 29461, or

Hope Outreach Retreats, PO Box 2471, LaGrange, IL 60462




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