in very small matters—and his own conscience, rather than popular opinions, always guided his actions.
In the field of foundation engineering, Jorj’s accomplishments spanned the gamut from soil exploration and sampling in the early phases of a project to serving as an arbitrator or expert witness in the resolution of all too frequent disputes in the latter phases. His inventiveness and penchant for innovation were demonstrated in many ways, ranging from ingenious patents to creative solutions to foundation problems. His WES pressure cell design was among the first in the field; his piston sampler is still the standard in the profession after more than half a century; and his drilled shaft load cell literally changed the practice in deep foundations worldwide. As a practitioner, Jorj Osterberg was not only a good foundation engineer, but he was also an engineer’s engineer.
Notwithstanding all of Jorj’s technical accomplishments, his human qualities were among his most defining traits—the advice he gave when asked (and sometimes even when not asked), the stability he provided in times of trial, and the concern he manifested when personal problems loomed on the horizon. Those of us who were privileged to know him will certainly attest to the fact that our lives are richer, both professionally and personally, because our paths crossed with that of Jorj Osterberg.
Preceding Jorj in death was his loving wife, Ruth, who passed away in 2004. Surviving him are his four children—Lawrence, Arvid, Ralph, and Lois—and seven grandchildren. Jorj’s cremains are buried with those of his wife on the Embree family plot in Buena Vista, Virginia.