Kenneth H. Oberheu, M.D., clinical professor emeritus, died on June 23 at age 82 at his home after a brief illness. He was the first surgeon to perform open heart surgery at Miami Valley Hospital.
Oberheu was born in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, on Nov. 4, 1934. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science degree in pre-med studies. He earned his M.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1961.
Oberheu dedicated his entire 40-year surgical career to practicing at Miami Valley Hospital, beginning in 1961 with his general surgery residency. He attended a surgical fellowship at the University of Michigan from 1966 to 1968 in advanced cardiovascular thoracic surgery. When he returned to Miami Valley Hospital in 1968, he advocated for funding an open heart surgery program.
Oberheu performed the first open heart operation at Miami Valley Hospital in November 1968. Through his work and leadership, Miami Valley Hospital established one of the top 50 open heart surgery programs in the nation.
He joined the Wright State University School of Medicine as a clinical associate professor from April 1975 through August 1986. He was promoted to clinical professor in August 1986 and served in that role until April 2002 when he became clinical professor emeritus.
Oberheu is preceded in death by his parents, Linda and Arnold Oberheu, and his wife of 52 years, Marilee Faust Oberheu. He is survived by his sister, Catherine Snider (Bruce); his brother, Jim Oberheu (Sherry); daughters, Dr. Anne Marie Oberheu, Kristin Marie Oberheu Corn, J.D. (Jeff), Marilee Molly Webster (Dave); son, Ken Oberheu, Jr.; in-laws, Gerry and Marlene Faust and Fred and Laurie Faust; and four grandchildren, Lauren, Caroline, McKenzie and Gabrielle, in addition to other family and friends, including Karen Kimsey.
The family will receive friends on Friday, July 7, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Westbrock Funeral Home (1712 Wayne Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45410). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, July 8, at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church (1322 Brown Street, Dayton, Ohio 45409).