Passing of ENMU Administrator Ron Obenhaus
The ENMU community received sad news on March 8, with the sudden passing of longtime employee Ron Obenhaus.
Obenhaus, 63, an administrator with ENMU Information Technology Services had worked for the university since 1984. As a well-respected colleague, he was honored with a Spirit of Eastern Award in 2009. He leaves behind his wife of 37 years, Lisa and his three sons: Jordan, Keaton, and Micah.
Ron married his childhood sweetheart, Lisa Lynn Holloman, on July 16, 1983. The two began their life together with their three sons while being avid members of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, where Ron would sometimes teach classes. When Ron was younger, he enjoyed water skiing and he was a huge sports fan. He was extremely fond of watching football and baseball games the most, and he loved the Dallas Cowboys.
However, in 1978 while a student at New Mexico State University, he suffered an injury that left him in a wheelchair, but this did not deter him, nor did it make him bitter. He came home to Portales and graduated from ENMU with dual bachelor’s degrees in 1982 in math and computer science, before earning his master’s degree in math in 1984. Ron consecutively proved how he was not disabled by undertaking what most able-bodied people have high difficulty doing, while also keeping a positive and inspiring attitude. He always kept that attitude with him at work and in turn that positiveness would transfer to his colleagues, who stated, “his optimism was a breath of fresh air!”
Many of his coworkers loved him dearly and said, “they would have gone to the ends of the Earth for him.” Denise Alexander is one of those employees who became incredibly close friends with Ron. Alexander said one of her favorite memories of him was going back and forth together from the cafeteria where he would stop to watch the squirrels run around on campus.
“He will leave a legacy at Eastern because he was that great of a human being,” Alexander said. She went on to say Obenhaus not only mentored his colleagues on a professional basis but was also a trusted friend who never hesitated to assist anyone in need.
Aside from his service to ENMU, Obenhaus was active in his church and community and enjoyed attending his sons’ sporting events as their, “number one fan,” according to Alexander. Obenhaus’ legacy of service will be greatly missed at ENMU.