Mary Oberdorff received a cell phone text from her husband who was hunting deer Monday afternoon.
Bradley Oberdorff said he just missed a deer, and she responded that he was a better shot than that. He said he would keep trying and not to expect him until after dark.
He never made it home.
Bradley Oberdorff of Wrightsville died of a massive heart attack while hunting on Buser Farm in Lower Windsor Township. He was 63.
"He loved hunting," said Mary Oberdorff, his wife of 33 years. "He hunted deer, duck, small game, rabbit, squirrel. You name it, he hunted it. He's been hunting since he was 12, and he only missed one year, in 2010, when he had a heart attack."
Also among Bradley Oberdorff's survivors are two daughters, Amber Barrows of Dallastown and Amy Gilbert of York; two sons, Michael Oberdorff, York, and Ryan Oberdorff, Wrightsville; 13 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Bradley Oberdorff was a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and received two bronze service stars.
He was a member of the Kreutz Creek Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7045 and the Yorkana Fish and Game.
'Nice guy': Richard Buser, who runs Buser Farm with his family, said he still can't believe his friend is gone. Bradley Oberdorff was found dead in the farm's cornfield by other hunters, Buser said.
He said he met Oberdorff more than a year ago at Rutter's (farm stores) in Wrightville and invited Oberdorff to hunt in the farm area.
"We always had a good time, harass each other and sit and drink coffee," Buser said. "He was a heck of a nice guy. (The Orberdorffs) were just a great couple that got along so well."
Mary Oberdorff said her husband was retired. He was a former sheet metal fabricator for Kinsley Inc.
"He had a wonderful personality," she said. "He was so good to everybody. He would give you the last dollar in his pocket even if he needed it more."
Mary Oberdorff said her husband took on cooking and cleaning chores so she could focus on her studies for a business degree at Harrisburg Area Community College.
"He was so excited I was going to school," she said. "He said to me a few days ago,'One more year, then this time next year you're going to graduate and I'm going to be so proud of you. I can't wait.'"
Kept his word: Mary Oberdorff said her husband was a man who kept his word. However, there is a recent promise he made that Mary Oberdorff said she vows to keep for him.
He had promised to teach an 11-year-old grandson how to hunt next summer after the youth turned 12 years old, she said.
"I'll teach him how to shoot and I'll take him hunting," Mary Oberdorff said.
Losing her husband also means losing their opportunity to renew their vows during the wedding of their dreams, which was planned for January, she said.
The Oberdorffs were first married at the justice of the peace, Mary Oberdorff said.
"When we took our vows, we said, 'Til death do we part,'" she said as she cried. "He was a gentleman, and I loved him from the first time I saw him."
The funeral service for Bradley Oberdorff is at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at the Etzweiler Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 1111 E. Market St. in York.
Viewing is 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Burial is in Susquehanna Memorial Gardens in York Township with military rites by the York County Veterans Honor Guard.