Ronald H. Oberlander, age 68, of Waterford, died suddenly in an automobile accident on Sunday, November 11, 2012. While he was courageously fighting cancer for the past 11 months, his untimely death has left his family in mourning. Born at Fort Bragg, N.C. on July 13, 1944, he is the son of Mildred C. Stewart Oberlander of Summit Township, and the late Henry M. Oberlander. He has been married to Karen A. Ruden Oberlander for 45 years, and she survives. Ron served in Vietnam with the United States Marines from 1966-67, receiving a Purple Heart from combat action. He worked as a heavy equipment operator for Operating Engineers for 10 years before joining his father's gas and water well drilling business. After retiring in 2000, Ron was active in developing two Waterford businesses with his sons, First Machine and SwissAero, and also many real estate projects around the local community. Ron enjoyed life and was known for his many interests, none of which topped his love and commitment to his wife, sons, and grandchildren. His favorite times were spent with his wife and sons, and keeping up with the grandkids' activities. In his free time, he enjoyed flying his vintage airplanes, including two memorable cross-country trips from California to Pennsylvania, and classic cars and drag racing. In addition to his wife, Karen, whom he married September 23, 1967, he is survived by three sons -- Michael L. Oberlander and his wife Barb, Robert S. Oberlander and his wife Melissa, all of Waterford, and Ronald J. Oberlander and his wife Katie, of Tulsa, Okla.; six grandchildren with the 7th expected-- Amory, Jordan, Courtney, Ryan, Kaitlin, and Alex; one great-granddaughter, Kyla; his mother, Mildred C. Oberlander; a sister, Kathy Simonette and her companion Roger of Meadville; his mother-in-law, Dorothy Ruden of Waterford; and his buddy who was always by his side, his dog Chumley. Visiting hours will be at the Van Matre Funeral Home, 105 Walnut Street, Waterford, on Wednesday from 1:00 - 4:00 and 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. with the funeral service there Thursday morning at 11:00 a.m. Burial with military honors will be at Waterford Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the John Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation, 130 West 8th Street, Erie, PA 16501, or kanziuscancerresearch.org. Condolences may be shared at www.vanmatrefuneralhome.com.
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Nov. 13, 2012