Joined OCC: February 24, 1958
Elected to Winged “O”: February 3, 1969
Jerry Ober was modest and unassuming about the distinction of being a member of the Winged “O” group to which he was elected in 1969, yet Jerry personifies what Winged “O” represents: active participation and exceptional dedication to the athletic program of the Outrigger Canoe Club.
A member of the OCC since 1951, Jerry’s interests were directed primarily to two areas: the youth and Junior Athletic Program, and in particular, paddling.
Born on June 1, 1926 and growing up in his hometown of Piedmont, California, his athletic activity centered around individual sports. Later, after military service, Jerry was an active participant in intramural sports at Menlo College, for his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta at the University of Arizona and later, California College of Arts and Crafts and the University of Hawaii Graduate School.
Unlike some of the Winged “O” honorees, Jerry gained this distinction strictly by his outstanding contributions of a service nature to the Club teams, rather than for athletic prowess as a competing team member.
The Forecast, predecessor to The Outrigger magazine, was pretty much Jerry’s baby from 1966 to 1971 and he was largely responsible for the transition to the present format. He served as sports reporter until 1975. Under his guidance, the Forecast grew in stature with the emphasis always on the perpetuation of the Club’s athletic heritage in Hawaiian water sports.
During his membership he served on the Athletic, Entertainment and Public Relations committees and was a stabilizing force in the early development of the Junior Sports Program.
He was most proud of his work with the Club’s youngsters and their athletic involvement, primarily in competitive canoe racing. In canoeing, Jerry’s interest went beyond that of organizer alone. He was the steersman on two state championship crews, having steered the Novice crew to a win in the first state championship regatta in 1959, and again eight years later in 1967, steering the Freshmen men to another win.
His most cherished gold medal however, came with his crew’s winning the Club sponsored Macfarlane Regatta in 1969.
Jerry’s great contributions in the direction of planning of the logistics of several of the Molokai to Oahu canoe races, cannot be overstated. One crew’s past victories in this event stand as testimonial to the backing of a handful of loyal Club members, the likes of Jerry Ober.
A private pilot since 1945, Jerry was also an avid backpacker and kept in great shape by running. He was recognized by the Club for more than 3,000 miles of running.
Jerry was an independent graphic artist and free-lance visual communications expert, but mostly he was the guy OCC came to depend on to give his all; he always did.