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WVU College of Education and Human Services professor emerita, passes away


Morgantown, W. Va. - A West Virginia University professor emerita, passed away peacefully surrounded by friends on Sunday, January 29th.

Dr. Patricia Obenauf joined the WVU College of Education and Human Services in 1973.  Obenauf was a passionate and loyal educator serving the college and her students through her roles as professor, administrator, researcher, advisor and scholar for over 40 years.

“Pat Obenauf was an active citizen of the University and Morgantown community.  She not only cared about students academically, but cared about their personal lives as well,” said Dr. Ron Iannone, WVU professor emeritus and friend.  “She was also active in the Morgantown community, giving to many organizations such as the Bartlett House, West Virginia Public Theatre, and several others.  In short, she was an active citizen with a deep compassion for her fellow human being.”

Obenauf attended Alverno College and Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. She then began her professional career by teaching elementary and secondary math and science in schools in the Midwest and throughout the Mississippi Delta. After obtaining her Ph.D. in science education and curriculum and instruction from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in 1973, she began her higher education career at WVU.

Obenauf retired as a professor emeritus from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She chaired nearly 80 doctoral student committees and wrote several grants, including the WV Department of Education Coordinated and Thematic Science grant for $1.2 million and the National Science Foundation NRAO Green Bank Radio Astronomy Research Experiences for $4 million.

In October 2016, Dr. Obenauf was inducted in the WVU CEHS Hall of Fame. 

“We are greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Dr. Obenauf.  Pat was a kind, generous, student-centered individual,” stated Gypsy Denzine, Dean of the WVU College of Education and Human Services.  “She left a lasting impression on so many students, faculty, staff, and the community.  This is a huge loss for us and many others.  Our prayers are with her many family members, friends, and students.”

Memorial services for Dr. Patricia Obenauf will be held on Thursday, February 2, 2017 from 3:00-7:00pm at Hastings Funeral Home in Morgantown, WV.  A celebration of life will be held at 6:00pm.

A memorial mass will be held on Friday, February 3, 2017 at 11:00am at St. John University Parish in Morgantown, WV.





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