David L. Olberding, 1936-2005

Published Date: June 14, 2005

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The Charles H. Dater Foundation joins his family and friends in mourning the loss of Foundation founding director and President David L. Olberding, who died Tuesday, June 14 of complications from a stroke suffered a week earlier.

“David’s passing is a great loss,” said fellow director Bruce Krone. “He was deeply committed to the Foundation’s work and he took a great interest in getting to know the non-profit organizations that put grant dollars to work. He always wanted to see firsthand how children were benefiting.”

A life-long Cincinnatian, Olberding grew up in Price Hill and graduated from Elder High School, where he played on the basketball team. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (Class of ’61) with majors in both Economics and Finance at the University of Cincinnati.

While in college, he worked part-time during the school year and full-time during summers at the brokerage firm of Merrill Lynch, beginning a workplace career that would last 37 years. He built a reputation for strong client service, painstaking research, good intuition and a willingness to act decisively. His portfolio of accounts grew dramatically as participation in the stock market by individual investors soared in the 1970s. He was named a Vice President at Merrill Lynch in 1984, but he preferred the title “financial consultant” and drew his greatest satisfaction from helping clients grow their assets.

When another Merrill Lynch broker died, Olberding took over the account of Charles Dater and subsequent financial planning discussions led to the decision to establish a private foundation to continue Mr. Dater’s philanthropic interests after his death.

As an active board member of the Foundation, he reviewed more than 500 grant applications annually, made site visits to grant recipient organizations to monitor Dater-funded programs at work, and reviewed grant evaluation reports. He was active in financial oversight and investment performance. After retiring from Merrill Lynch, he increased his involvement in the Foundation’s activities.

Olberding served six and a half years in the U.S. Army Reserves, advancing to the rank of First Sergeant. He was an avid golfer and a member of Clovernook Country Club, where he served two terms on the Board of Directors and was President in 1988-89. He coached youth soccer teams for 14 years and was part of a group that founded Soccer Association for Youth (SAY) in Cincinnati.

He was the youngest of seven children born to Paul and Louise Olberding. He and college sweetheart Cathey Mettman married in 1962. He is survived by wife Cathey, son Bob Olberding, and daughters Karen Olberding and Kim Hobby.

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