The EAA community and all of aviation were saddened on Sunday, November 1, as Audrey Poberezny, wife of EAA's late founder Paul Poberezny, died peacefully in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at age 95.
It is often said that behind every success, there are the unsung heroes that made it possible. For EAA, that was a role that was successfully executed by Audrey Ruesch Poberezny with grace, determination, and wisdom. EAA and all of its members over nearly 70 years owe her an immeasurable debt of gratitude.
"Audrey was indeed EAA's First Lady and the quiet power behind the leader in EAA's formation and development," said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board. "She supported Paul from the very earliest days of EAA, from being the sounding board for ideas and balancing the books, to answering the phone and typing out membership cards. Audrey did whatever needed to be done, but never sought the spotlight for herself. Her understanding of people was also a gift that helped EAA grow and thrive into its unique place in aviation, and her warmth will be remembered by all who knew her."
IAC President Emeritus and Historian, Mike Heuer remembers Audrey, “An incredible lady and the powerhouse behind Paul. She never sought the spotlight but EAA could not have made it to success without her. Audrey and my parents were friends for a long time and their friendship with Paul and Audrey Poberezny made the formation of IAC in its first years even smoother and their support helped make it possible to have new organization in aerobatics that resulted in the wonderful sport we have today. She and my mother remained friends all the way up to my mother’s death in 2011. The men got all the publicity and public exposure – but it was up to women like Audrey and my mother to get things done. Audrey was incredibly effective, behind the scenes. She was always there and for that reason, active in IAC activities as well.”
Photo: Audrey at Paul's side as they chat with Bill Thomas, 1972 U.S. Aerobatic Team member and author of two aerobatics instruction books: “Fly for Fun” and “Fly for Fun to Win".