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Audrey L. Poberezny Passes
November 2020 – Audrey Louise Poberezny passed away November 1 at Evergreen Assisted Living in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She was 95. Audrey was born January 24, 1925, in Milwaukee, WI, to parents Thomas and Lillian Ruesch, both deceased. She attended West Milwaukee High School and was often voted "best dressed girl in school." There she also met young Paul Poberezny, who was never considered for anyone's best dressed list, yet in 1944 became her husband for the next 69 years.
Audrey is known to many in aviation as the "first lady" of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), the aviation organization she and her husband founded in 1953 while he was serving in the Wisconsin Air Guard. Because Paul was gone so much, it was up to Audrey to provide the continuity to keep the organization going during those early years. Paul often said, "Without Audrey, none of this would have happened." Audrey never sought a public role while building what quickly became a worldwide organization, choosing instead to work diligently behind the scenes to ensure things stayed on track. Her consistent leadership, strong administration and people skills, led EAA through the first formative decades. You always knew exactly what Audrey had in mind. There was no gray area, no vacillating. She never lost focus. In the early years, she also worked alongside the volunteers, helping clear the site for the first EAA fly-in convention, beginning more than a half-century of Oshkosh conventions. Later on, she greeted guests from around the world, ensuring they had a most memorable experience. She was always there, fingers on the pulse, always ready to steer the ship. Although not a licensed pilot, Audrey knew her way around airplanes — both inside and out. Displaying a fearless streak, she became the family's first — and only — wing walker. She was also an extremely skilled seamstress. Paul took advantage of this and put her to work stitching fabric for his many aircraft projects. She also enjoyed crocheting items for a local hospital. When great granddaughter Charley arrived, Audrey headlined four generations of Poberezny family females, another highlight in a life full of highlights. She once hinted it was her favorite.
Audrey was preceded in death by husband Paul (2013) and is survived by her son, Thomas (Sharon) Poberezny; daughter Bonnie (Chuck) Parnall; granddaughters Lesley Poberezny and Audra (Dave) Chaimson; and great-granddaughter Charlotte "Charley" Hoy. All currently reside in Wisconsin.
At this time, only a private family service is scheduled. In lieu of flowers, memorials in honor of Audrey's life and legacy can be made to the Evergreen Foundation, 1130 North Westfield Street, Oshkosh, WI 54902.
The family wishes to thank Evergreen Assisted Living facility for their loving care and compassion.