site image
phone local_florist


Mary Oldenburg

February 3, 1924 ~ January 20, 2018 (age 93)

Mary Kaufman Oldenburg, 93, of Wausau, died peacefully with family by her side on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at Aspirus Wausau Hospital.

Mary was born in Antigo, Wisconsin on February 3, 1924, the daughter of the late Elmer and Eleanora (Anderson) Kaufman. On June 14, 1947, she was united in marriage to Ralph Oldenburg at Peace Evangelist Lutheran Church in Antigo, Wisconsin.

She was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1946 with a BS in Home Economics. She started her career as a County Home Agent in Clark County, Wisconsin. Following a hiatus during which she raised five children, she went back to work as a Hostess for Civic Newcomers. She followed that with employment as the Home Economist for Wisconsin Fuel and Light Company, a Home Economics teacher at Newman High School, and a consultant to the Marathon County Commission on Aging.

Mary was active in the Wausau community. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church for more than 50 years and active in the Welfare Workers group and Bible studies. She also was a Charter Member of the Marathon County Graduate Home Economists; she attended meetings and gatherings of the group until her death.

Mary was a talented seamstress and an exceptional cook. She was interested in the world around her and a continuous learner. She learned how to use her computer, email, and Facebook in her 80’s and listened avidly to Wisconsin Public Radio throughout her life. Mary loved poetry and could always come up with an appropriate quote, whether from Emily Dickinson or Edgar Guest. Mary made friends with everyone she met and kept track of what was happening with the people she loved.

Mary was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Ralph Oldenburg, her parents, and her brother, Richard Kaufman. She is survived by her loving family, including her five children: Julie (John) Phend, Milton (Maureen) Oldenburg, Suzanne (Richard) Schroeder, Janice (Jonathon Ninnemann) Oldenburg, and Mark Oldenburg; 11 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. The family wishes to thank the devoted staff at Primrose for the care and attention they lavished on her during the last eight years of her life.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, January 26, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wausau. Burial will follow at Restlawn Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 4 – 7 p.m., Thursday, January 25, at the Helke Funeral Home, as well as the hour before the service on Friday morning at Trinity Lutheran Church, beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Memorials may be made in Mary Oldenburg’s name to: Trinity Lutheran Church or Wisconsin Public Radio. If Trinity Lutheran Church, send donations to 501 Stewart Avenue, Wausau, WI 54401; if Wisconsin Public Radio, donate online at and include in notes that it is a memorial for Mary Oldenburg.

© 2019 Helke Funeral Home and Cremation Services. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS