In Memoriam: Members of the golf community we lost in 2015

Posted December 29, 2015 - Western Pennsylvania Golf Association - Contact

The Association has learned of the passing of the following members of the area’s golf community during this past year.

John Aber, MD, Greensburg. A highly respected Rules of Golf official, Dr. Aber served on the USGA Regional Affairs Committee for more than a decade and officiated at several U.S. Opens. He had recently officiated for the Tri-State PGA Section as their primary decision maker. He was the father of John, Jr., the golf professional at Allegheny Country Club, and one of the area’s top players whose titles include the 1999 West Penn Open, and daughter Stacy, who played collegiate golf at Louisiana State University. He and John, Jr., played in numerous WPGA Father & Son competitions.

Richard Fuhrer, Oakmont. Mr. Fuhrer was a long-time member of Oakmont Country Club and was president of the club during the 1983 US Open. He was a graduate of Westminster College where he excelled at basketball. Mr. Fuhrer grew up playing golf at Ridgeview Golf Club in Chicora with his brother, Frank, Jr., and later purchased the club and renamed it Saint Jude Golf Club. What was a nine-hole course, he was instrumental in the building and design of the second nine. Mr. Fuhrer was particularly interested in golf course maintenance, seeking to have greens at Saint Jude equal in speed and quality to Oakmont. Mr. Fuhrer won the 1960 WPGA Brothers Championship with brother Frank, Jr.

Richard E. Fuhrer / Insurance executive’s other passion was golf - By Gerry Dulac

Keith Happ, Columbus, OH. Mr. Happ was the USGA Mid-Atlantic Green Section Director with offices in Pittsburgh for more than a decade until he was transferred to Columbus in 2013. A golf course superintendent prior to working for the Green Section, Mr. Happ was well respected by area superintendents. He was instrumental in the development of the Association’s Green Operations Study in terms of questionnaire preparation and encouraging superintendent participation. He visited numerous area clubs as a consultant with the USGA Green Section’s Turf Advisory Service and was involved with championship preparations for the 2007 U.S. Open and 2010 U.S. Women’s Open Championships at Oakmont.

Joseph O’Donnell, Pittsburgh. A regular contestant in WPGA competitions, Mr. O’Donnell won the 1995 WPGA Four-Ball Championship with Ralston Merchant, Jr. A native of Johnstown and a fine junior golfer, he also won the Greater Johnstown Junior Championship.