Paul W. Oberhauser, 84, of Somerset, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 at his residence.
Paul was born Oct. 18, 1936 in Belmond, Iowa to the late Louis B. and Marion Oberhauser. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1959 with a degree in economics. He was a member of Holy Trinity Parish for over 35 years.
Paul farmed his whole life (first in Iowa and then Ohio) and raised and worked with horses. He trained Quarter Horses and Saddlebreds and won multiple awards with both. Later in life he raised hundreds of Registered Welsh ponies as well as thoroughbred horses. In 2004, Real Echo, a thoroughbred born and raised on Paul’s farm in Hopewell Township, won Ohio Thoroughbred Horse of the Year and Paul was named Ohio Thoroughbred Breeder of the Year.
Paul also ran a successful rural real estate brokerage for over 25 years. In 2002, Paul lost his beloved daughter, Sarah, in a car crash caused by a red light runner. Paul became an outspoken advocate for highway safety and electronic enforcement of the red light laws in the state of Ohio. He eventually became the national co-chairman of the Traffic Safety Coalition and testified before congressional hearings in Ohio, Iowa, Texas and Massachusetts. But of all his roles in life, be it farmer, horse trainer, broker, traffic safety advocate, husband or dad, his favorite role ever was Grandpa.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife (Jane Hickman Oberhauser); his daughter (Sarah Oberhauser); his brother (Sherman Oberhauser) and his sister (Jeanne Johnston). He is survived by his wife of 47 years (Suzann); his brothers, Jon (Vicki) and Louis; and his sister, Judith; his brother-in-law Jim (Debbie) Hickman; his children, Elizabeth Severson (Troy), David Oberhauser, Peter Oberhauser (Anna), Nancy Walchanowicz (James), Roger Oberhauser (Missy), Paul B. Oberhauser (Jenny), Janelle Finck (Darrell), and Amy Lanigan (David); 21 grandchildren, Allison (Anthony) Severson-Haban, Clayton and Knuton (Amanda) Severson, Joseph, Silas, Jane, Jackson, Laura, Gavin, and ClaraJane Oberhauser, Megan and Drew VanWinkle, Lauren, Emily and Marissa Walchanowicz, Leah (Adam) Woodruff, Julia, Clare and Alicia Finck, Katie and Sophie Lanigan; three great-grandchildren, Cora and Miles Haban and Harbor Jack Severson; and a very special and beloved cousin, Peggy (Tom) Dunn.
A private family gathering and Mass will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Somerset Community Celebration, P.O. Box 157, Somerset, Ohio 43783 or to the Somerset Food Pantry, P.O. Box 237, Somerset, Ohio 43783.
Bope-Thomas Funeral Home in Somerset is entrusted with the arrangements.