In Memoriam

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William H. Oberteuffer ’42

William Healy Oberteuffer ’42, September 24, 2006, in Portland. Bill attended Reed College for one year, and then attended Oregon State University, earning a BS in agricultural sciences in 1942. He also earned a master’s degree in agriculture from OSU in general studies and education. In 1941, he married Margaret Young MAT ’62, his childhood sweetheart. During World War II, Bill taught school and worked at the Portland shipyards. His career as a secondary school biology teacher lasted 32 years, during which he was awarded Oregon Teacher of the Year (1964), and also Outstanding Secondary Teacher in Portland. He was an honorary lifetime member of the Mazamas, active in the organization beginning in 1947, and leader of hundreds of climbs, including to the summit of Pico de Orizaba in Mexico in 1965. He was also a 25-year member of the Oregon Mountain Rescue Team, and a member of the Sierra Club and the NEA. During a sabbatical year in the early 1970s, the couple backpacked through 27 countries. In retirement, they moved to Elgin, Oregon, and created the Smilin’ O Ranch, which they opened to students for practical-land and recreational opportunities. Bill became a master woodland manager, and in 1994, received the U.S. Forest Service National Award for Volunteerism. That same year, the couple donated 113-forested acres to the College of Forestry at Oregon State University; the land has been preserved for research and demonstration as the Oberteuffer Research and Education Forest. Margaret died in 2000. Survivors include his wife, Jacque Lee, whom he married in 2001.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 2007

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