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In Memory of
Robert Schantz Oelman
June 9, 1909 - May 10, 2007

Robert Schantz Oelman (June 9, 1909 – May 10, 2007) Robert S. Oelman, who was chief executive of the NCR Corporation for 17 years and moved in the circles of leaders of business, politics and golf, died in Delray Beach, Fla., last Thursday. He was 97. Mr. Oelman worked for NCR, based in Dayton, Ohio, for 47 years, and also served on major corporate boards. He was chairman of Ford Motor’s finance committee in 1978 when Henry Ford 2d, the chairman, asked him to try to smooth over a bitter rift with Lee Iacocca, the company’s president, Mr. Oelman’s son Bradford said. That mission failed. Mr. Iacocca was fired and became president of Chrysler not long afterward. Mr. Oelman was a longtime trustee of the University of Dayton, including four years as president of the trustees, from 1956 to 1960. He helped to found Wright State University in Dayton in 1968 and was chairman of the Wright State trustees. Also in 1968, Nelson A. Rockefeller asked Mr. Oelman, a fellow alumnus of Dartmouth College, to be Ohio Republican chairman for the unsuccessful Rockefeller presidential campaign that year. Both were Dartmouth trustees. Robert Schantz Oelman was born in Dayton in 1909. After graduating from Dartmouth in 1931, he was a student at the University of Vienna, where he met Mary Elizabeth Coolidge, also from Dayton. They were married in 1938. When he was 24, Mr. Oelman joined the National Cash Register Company as a file clerk at $12.50 a week, then became editor of a company newspaper. As president from 1957, and chairman and chief executive until his retirement in 1974, he supervised the company’s transition from mechanical cash registers to electronic machines. After retiring, he was chairman of the NCR executive committee until 1980. A weekend golfer, he became chairman of the tournament policy board of the Professional Golf Association, which organized the association’s golf tours. In addition to his son Bradford of Delray Beach, he is survived by his wife, Mary, of the Village of Golf, Fla., an enclave in Boynton Beach; another son, Robert S., of Bogota, Colombia; a daughter, Kathryn Meagher of San Diego; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Correction: May 25, 2007 An obituary on May 16 about Robert S. Oelman, former chief executive of NCR, referred incorrectly to Mr. Oelman’s support of Nelson Rockefeller’s efforts to become president. Mr. Rockefeller asked Mr. Oelman to head up his Ohio campaign in 1968 — but not in 1972, when Mr. Rockefeller decided against seeking the presidency and instead supported President Nixon’s re-election.