Christian 10

Michael Joseph Obringer

December 20, 1943 ~ March 3, 2021 (age 77)


Michael Joseph Obringer, 77, died peacefully in his sleep on March 3, 2021, at his home in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mike was born on December 20, 1943 in Elwood, Indiana but was raised in New Haven, Indiana. He was a 1962 graduate of Central Catholic High School and went to Notre Dame where he earned two degrees (BA ’69, MS ’73). Mike earned those degrees while working to support his quickly growing family. Professionally, Mike was a charter member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and spent his life as an urban and environmental designer and city planner. His impeccable plans and drawings supported large scale projects across the country and around the world. It was important to Mike to share his expertise and experience to grow the next generation of urban designers. He did this as an individual mentor to many and as a guest lecturer in classrooms and at community groups across the country. A number of non-profits benefitted from Mike’s design skills on projects, time and effort which he provided free of charge. Outside of his passion for having a smooth cigar Mike’s greatest love was photography. He appropriated at least one bathroom along the way to handle his darkroom set-up. The organization and quality of the family albums and the photos inside were a source of great pride and have stood the test of time. The Obringers’ always had the most professional-looking family portraits and no doubt many members of his greater family have a photo Mike took somewhere in their family albums. “Pop’s” career took his family to all the corners of the U.S. which encouraged them to appreciate travel, be curious about the places they lived, be adventurous and make friends fast. He took career leaps, moving from large architecture/engineering firms to specialty consulting and eventually established his own practice. He was well known for burning the midnight oil in his smoky “office” leaning over his drafting board with countless colored pens, sharpened pencils and rulers scattered about, honing his latest project masterpiece. Other favorite pastimes included supporting his kids, often loudly, at their sporting events and navigating as many mystery novels as he could. He is survived by his wife of 55 years Susan Fox Obringer, sons Jack, Mike (Charolette), Peter (Anabel) and daughter Ann Zipkin (Eric), 12 grandchildren, Jane Dunlap (Matt), JC, Daniela, Lane, Aidan, Kate, Alexandra, Luc, Gavin, Ben, Piper and Coley. Mike is also survived by five siblings, Steve, Maryanne Alter (Tom), Paul, Denis and Joe (Zhou-Yi) as well as numerous nephews, nieces and cousins. Mike was preceded in death by his parents John Henry and Rita Snyder Obringer. As per his wishes Mike will be cremated. A more formal remembrance for Mike will be held at a later date when friends and family can celebrate his life safely together. To sign the online guest book, go to


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