Monday, July 6, 2009

Robert Lee Oehrtman, Ph.D. (July 1, 2009)

Robert Lee Oehrtman, Ph.D., 69, of Stillwater, OK died on Wednesday, July 1, 2009 in Stillwater.

He was born on July 24, 1939 in Greenville, OH to the late Clarence Oehrtman and Bertha Oliver Oehrtman. He married Anne Bigelow on December 19th, 1965 in Coos Bay, Oregon. They were married 37 years until her untimely death in 2003.

He graduated from Greenville High School in 1957 and attended Ohio State University graduating from Mechanical Agriculture Engineering in 1961. He acquired his post doctoral degrees from Oregon State University in Agricultural Economics (M.S.) in 1964 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Iowa State University in 1970. He accepted a position as Professor in Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University in 1970 were he remained until he retired in 2003 after 33 years of service to his students and the university, but continued his love of teaching as a professor emeritus after his retirement.

He dedicated a lifetime of service to the brotherhood of Álpha Gamma Rho fraternity, starting at Ohio State University as an undergraduate in Beta Chapter, serving there as House Management officer, Homecoming chairman, and assistant to the Rush program. Since 1979 he served as Pi Chapter Adviser at Oklahoma State University for 30 years until his passing. He also served as co-chair for numerous national convention committees and was recognized by the AGR fraternity nationally as an AGR Brother of the Century, Outstanding Adviser in 1983, 2000, and 2002, along with Outstanding AGR Alumni for Pi Chapter in 1986. In 2006, Bob received Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity’s highest honor, being inducted into their National Hall of Fame.

Dr. Oehrtman was well-known on the OSU campus for his challenging but effective instruction and was honored with over two dozen teaching awards from national associations and the OSU faculty, administration, and students. He was legendary as the only instructor for over 20 years in the introductory course AGEC 1114, Principals of Agricultural Economics. In this role, he educated and shaped the academic lives of thousands of OSU students, regularly generating over a quarter of his department’s teaching credit hours. During his academic career, Dr. Oehrtman also maintained an active research agenda authoring over 150 research papers in various areas of economics.

Bob became Scoutmaster of Troop 814 in the fall of 1982 and remained in that capacity for 27 years until his death. During his tenure, he guided 50 young men as they attained the rank of Eagle Scout. In addition to weekly meetings and monthly campouts, Bob (Mr. “O”), led the Troop on Summer Camps at Will Rogers Scout Reservation, Slippery Falls Scout Reservation, and high adventure expeditions to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. Young men of the Troop also served in youth leadership roles for National and World Boy Scout Jamborees, Philmont High Adventure Base and Sommers Canoe Base. Bob was involved in leadership roles for the Pawnee Bill District/Cimarron Council’s annual spring break backpacking event – the Ouachita Trek, serving as director of the event on several occasions and was awarded the Pawnee Bill District Award of Merit for his efforts. Bob was a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow (a peer recognized honor and service organization in BSA), was awarded the District Scoutmaster Award of Merit, and was recognized by the Stillwater Rotary Club as Outstanding Stillwater Citizen of the Year for 2008-2009 for his contributions to Scouting. Mr. “O” will be remembered for his unique method of instruction and guidance, “the right way, the wrong way, and the Oehrtman way”.

Bob was a member of the First Christian Church where he continued his strong commitment to community service and dedication to his faith as deacon, elder, vice-chair and chair of the church board, along with chairman of Nominating, Worship, Organization and Regulations committees. While at First Presbyterian Church, Bob served also as Sunday school teacher, elder, and deacon.

Robert Oehrtman is survived by his two sons, Greg Oehrtman of San Diego and Michael Oehrtman of Tempe, AZ along with his daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Furnish, and granddaughter, Verena. He was a father figure to his nieces – Pat Clark, Jody Wilson, Melanie Hogan, and Lori Clem. He will be greatly missed as beloved father, grandfather, uncle, and friend.

Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, 2009 at the Oliver-Floyd Funeral Home in Greenville, OH with burial to follow in Greenlawn Cemetery, Versailles, OH.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to a scholarship fund for outstanding students of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity or fund to support the activities of the local troops of Boy Scout of America. Details of the scholarship will be available at the funeral services.