Kathy Williams Oeder was honored with the Woman of Distinction Award from Trine University
during its Touchstone and Homecoming Celebration Dinner on Friday, Oct. 4.
She received the award after nearly 400 guests enjoyed a video presentation featuring
images from throughout her lifetime.
“Kathy truly exemplifies being beautiful inside and out. She radiates a warmness that
makes everyone feel welcome and immediately in the company of a reliable, fun and
spunky friend,” said Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., Trine University president. “We are
all truly better for knowing Kathy, because of the way that she cares for and treats
others, and her commitment and dedication to her family, work, friends, community
and to Trine University, all while living a life of faith. Kathy has helped enrich
the lives of all those in her community and for the students, alumni and employees
here at Trine.”
A life-long resident of Warren County, Ohio, Oeder’s summers, while growing up, were
spent working at a local farm and at the A&W Root Beer Stand owned by her father.
While raising her two children, she was employed by the Trane Heating and Air Conditioning
Company and the General Electric Appliance Division. Eventually she decided to become
self-employed with Mary Kay Cosmetics, and has remained with the company for 36 years,
earning the title of senior director and receiving 16 cars, eight of which were the
prestigious pink Cadillacs.
In 2009, she married member of the Trine University Board of Trustees and 1965 Tri-State
University alumnus Richard Oeder. Together they share five children and 11 grandchildren,
and operate the family business, Oeder’s Lake.
A prominent community activist, Kathy Oeder spearheaded the formation of the Hamilton
Township Business Expo Group in 2012. Through her dedication, the first Hamilton Township
Business Touch-A-Truck event was held. The event is now in its seventh year with more
than 5,000 annual attendees.
Kathy Oeder is a member of the Little Miami Chamber, Morrow Progress Club, Boomers
Community Service Group, Morrow Historical Society, Warren County Historical Society
and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. She volunteers at Valley Vineyards, Salem-Morrow Fire
Department Fish Fry, the Restored Machinery Club Show and the Cardboard Boat Regatta.
In 2017, she was honored with the Little Miami Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the
Richard and Kathy Oeder have remained loyal supporters to Richard’s alma mater, providing
support to the Scholarship Gala and the Books and Beyond Scholarship Program, the
Trine Fund, Thunder Athletics, and capital projects that include the Whitney Commons
renovation, Fawick Hall, the Ryan Skywalk and the Keith E. Busse/Steel Dynamics Inc.
Athletic and Recreation Center.
“I have been truly impressed by the things I have seen happen at this university in
the 17 years I’ve been coming up here with Richard,” Kathy Oeder said in accepting
the award. “I just think it’s an incredible group that cares about this university
and about what happens in this community. I thank the university and all the people
I’ve met for this honor.”
The Woman of Distinction Award was first given in 2006 to honor Marjorie Bowstrom,
a Tri-State University trustee. The award recognizes the powerful contributions of
women in the areas of philanthropy, business and education, and is presented annually
to a woman judged by the university to mirror the attributes represented by Bowstrom.
It signifies the university's high regard for the lofty achievements of today's female
Photo: Kathy Williams Oeder, seated next to her husband, Richard Oeder, watches a video featuring
images from throughout her lifetime presented as part of the Woman of Distinction
Award during Trine University's Touchstone and Homecoming Celebration Dinner on Oct.
4. (Photo by Dean Orewiler)