Otto Fredrick Oberhelman, 91, of Bella Vista, Ark., passed away on March 10, 2012, at Bella Vista. He was born on May 15, 1920, at Barnes, Kan., to Otto and Valecia Oberhelman. He graduated from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., in August 1942, and went to work right after graduation for the General Electric Company in Chicago, Ill. He married Ruth Flagg from Manhattan, Kan., on Aug. 25, 1942. They had four children, Susan Hill of Missouri Valley, Iowa, Robert Oberhelman, Parkville, Mo., Steven Oberhelman, College Station, Texas, and Janet Troutner, Centerton, Ark. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Otto served in the Navy in World War II, and proudly belonged to the American Legion, District One at Bella Vista. After the war ended, he took a leave of absence form General Electric and owned and operated a lumber-hardware company at Farley, Mo., for three years. He then returned to work at General Electric. He spent 38 years working for General Electric Company as regional manager in field engineering, from which he retired in June of 1984. He was preceded in death by sister, Gayle Thompson, Wamego, Kan.; brother, Foster Oberhelman, Parkville, Mo.; brother, Wayne Oberhelman, Hamilton, Mo.; and brother, Marion Oberhelman, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; sister, Audrey Pollard, Mission, Kan.; and brother, Allen, Gardner, Kan. In retirement, Otto enjoyed boating on Beaver Lake, playing golf, bowling and especially volunteering at the Bates Hospital and Northwest Medical Hospital in Bentonville. He received the Community Service Award certificate and pin given by the National and State Society of Daughters of the American Revolution for all his volunteer jobs. He was one of the first drivers for the Courtesy Van of Bella Vista, and worked at the Bella Vista Recycling Center until ill health prevented from continuing. He served on the Bella Vista Property Owners Association Board and as a member of the POA's Street and Road Committee. Besides Northwest Medical Center, he also volunteered at the Bates Hospital in Bentonville for many years. Otto was a long time member of the United Lutheran Church, Bella Vista, and served as president during that time. A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at United Lutheran Church and conducting the service will be Pastors Johnson, Jebsen, and Schaap. Funeral arrangements are by Bella Vista Funeral Home, with interment at United Lutheran Church. Any gifts or donations may be given to American Legion Post 341 in memory of Otto.
Published March 15, 2012