FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT LOU LONG, PRESIDENT AND PR DIRECTOR
The BRP/Hoosier Tire Modified Tour mourns the loss of Debra A. Ault Oyer. Debbie
was a member of the Board of Directors of The Modified Tour, Inc. and the wife of
fellow Board Member and Webmaster Paul Oyler.
Debbie succumbed to cancer on Monday, February 28, at the age of 51. She was
hospitalized at UPMC Shadyside, in Pittsburgh, at the time of her death. She put
forth a valiant struggle, but the ravages of the disease were too far advanced when
she was diagnosed just a few short weeks ago. She also had medical complications
unrelated to her cancer. Through it all, Paul remained by her side, just as she
nursed him through health problems in the recent past.
Debbie was born in Akron, OH, but lived in Altoona, PA, before relocating to Mercer,
PA with Paul several years ago. After their wedding in 1999, they started coming to
the Mercer area to watch and photograph races at Mercer Raceway Park and other
venues. They enjoyed the experience so much that they moved there to be closer to
Paul became track photographer at Mercer and he also served in that capacity at
Tri-City Speedway and Slippery Rock Speedway. Debbie was his trusty assistant and
operated their photo stand. Later, she became an office employee at Mercer Raceway
The love of racing that Debbie and Paul shared brought them both to The Modified
Tour. On race nights, Debbie would often be found at the trailer, assisting with
registrations and lineups before grabbing her camera to shoot action photos or her
favorites, victory lane ceremonies. Debbie also had a knack for putting together
wonderful gift baskets that the Modified Tour would use for its fundraising efforts.
"The racing family of Western Pennsylvania lost a loyal supporter in Debbie," said
Modified Tour President Lou Long. "She was like a sister to us all, helping in
whatever way she could; you could always count on her to pitch in and get a job
In addition to her racing endeavors, Debbie was active in her church, Fellowship
Community Church in grove City. She enjoyed fishing and spending time outdoors.
She also would dote on nine Van Gent children, as she served as their nanny. She
loved them dearly.
Debbie was survived by her husband (Paul), her mother (Carol J. Long), two
step-daughters (Erin and Katelyn Oyler), three siblings (A. Kay Shaw, Donald L.
Ault, and Amy J. Long) and numerous nieces and nephews. A broher (William A. Ault)
preceded her in death.
Friends will be received from 9:00 a.m. until noon on Friday, March 4, at the
Myers-Somers Funeral Home, Inc., 501 Sixth Ave., Altoona. Immediately thereafter, a
funeral service will be presented by her dear friend and Modified Tour Chaplain,
Pastor Bill Beck. Assisting will be Modified Tour racer, Pastor Kevin Green.
Interment will be made at Alto Reste Park, also in Altoona.
Plans are being made for a memorial service to be conducted in the Mercer-Grove City
area. However no date, time or location have been determined.
With the kind and generous support of the racing community at the Lernerville
Speedway banquet held last Saturday, The Modified Tour raised some much needed funds
to help defray the enormous medical bills for Debbie's final illness.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial contributions be sent in
care of Carol J. Long, 145 Greenwood Road, Altoona, PA 16602.