But when Mr. Oldham and his wife went to a hospital to have their wounds cared for, physicians found that one of his arteries was 95 percent blocked.
Because the artery was repaired immediately, his son said, "the attack saved his life.
"It was the defining event in his life."
Born in Childress, Texas, Mr. Oldham was an Army typist in Paris, then earned a bachelor's degree in theology at what is now Abilene (Texas) Christian University in 1950. He became a minister in the Churches of Christ denomination.
After working with a congregation in Virginia, Mr. Oldham and his family moved in 1958 to South Jersey, where he taught first at Heritage Junior High and then at Beck Junior High.
"His entire life," his son said, Mr. Oldham "was a full-time teacher and a part-time preacher."
Mr. Oldham was the minister at the Bridgeton Church of Christ from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s and assistant minister at the Sunset Road Church of Christ in Burlington in the 1970s and 1980s, his son said.
"As a storyteller and preacher," his son said, "he would take every opportunity to bring the Bible and Scriptures into a conversation."
Noted for his long sermons, Mr. Oldham's blessing before a Sunday meal at home "could last 10, 15 minutes."
And at church, his son said, "his prayers could make people cry."
Besides his son, Mr. Oldham is survived by another son, John; a daughter, Rebecca Ann Patane; and three grandchildren. His wife of 46 years died in 1999. A son, Paul, died in 2000.
A viewing and life celebration was set from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at the Goes-Scolieri Funeral Home, 212 Levitt Pkwy., Willingboro, N.J. 08046. A funeral was set for 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at Tabernacle Church of Christ, 1416 Carranza Rd., Tabernacle, with burial in the Junior Mechanics Cemetery there.
Donations may be sent to the American Diabetes Association at https://donations.diabetes.org.
Condolences may be offered to the family through the funeral home at the above address.