Sam K. Oberhausen Memorial Scholarship Fund
Sam Oberhausen loved his community. He packed a lot of living in just the 39 years he lived. He grew up in Tell City, played football, graduated from the University of Evansville, married his high school sweetheart Louann Paulin, and planned on moving to northern Indiana as a salesperson for a local company. However, plans changed when he was offered another job by a local bank. This change provided the opportunity for Sam to become an active member of many organizations in Perry County. He was involved in business, church, and civic groups, often in leadership roles. Sam loved helping Tell City prosper and grow. This was his home.
In the back of Sam’s mind was the dream of owning his own business someday. Eventually, he and a partner formed an advertising business. He ventured into selling real estate on a part time basis. When another opportunity for buying a shoe store opened, Sam jumped at the chance. After all, he had worked at that shoe store in high school and even during college on weekends and summers. Unfortunately, as many small businesses on Main Street have struggled to remain open, so did this shoe store. Yet, Sam was always thinking of ways to expand the business community opportunities in Perry County. He hoped to expand into fund raisers and offering small businesses services with various options.
Even though his businesses were important to Sam, family was even more so. He became a father to sons Ryan and Ross. Sam arranged his schedule so he could be a part of their activities, often catching up on his work by going back to the office long after they had gone to bed. Family time was a priority.
In 1987 when Schweizer Fest began promoting of a long string of musicals, Sam joined the other actors on stage for Music Man. He had been a lead in a TCHS play, Barefoot in the Park, during his senior year in high school. Joining with other community novices and creating an outstanding performance for the community challenged and excited Sam. He returned on stage to act each year until his death, even becoming a main lead in Guys and Dolls and Oliver. Each summer, countless hours were spent rehearsing for the shows. He loved offering people in the community an opportunity to see good theater right in their own community.
When Sam died March 10, 1991 of a heart attack while playing basketball with his Sunday night pals, it shocked and saddened a whole community. Sam was a well known family and business man. Friends and business leaders organized a loving tribute by running a full page spread in the Tell City News highlighting his career and civic connections with pictures and quotes.
At the time, John Oberhausen served on the recently formed Perry County Community Foundation Board. He suggested to his parents, Tony and Hazel Oberhausen that they create an endowment scholarship in memory of their son, Sam. Starting in May of 1991, each year a Tell City High School student who has participated in fine arts-either in music, drama, or art-was chosen to receive a monetary award to help with college expenses. In this way, family and friends of Sam can continue helping to provide community support for the arts in our area.
– Louann Oberhausen