Cover photo for Winifred Frances Oetjen's Obituary
Winifred Frances Oetjen Profile Photo
1920 Winifred 2016

Winifred Frances Oetjen

March 18, 1920 — July 26, 2016

Memorial services for Winifred Frances (George) Oetjen, age 96, of Albert Lea, will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 19, 2016 at First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea.  Rev. Dwight Netzer will officiate.  Friends may greet the family one hour prior to the service at the church.

Wini died Tuesday, July 26, 2016, at Thorne Crest Senior Living Community.

Winifred Frances George was born in Grinnell, Iowa on March 18, 1920 to Helen (Coutts) and Russell George.  She graduated from Grinnell High School and then from Grinnell College in 1942. Following graduation, she was employed by Bankers Life Company in Des Moines, Iowa. On August 3, 1943 she was united in marriage with George E. Oetjen in Herrick Chapel at Grinnell College. They moved to New Orleans where Lt. Oetjen was a Port Officer at the New Orleans Port of Embarkation during WWII. In June 1946 they moved to Mason City, Iowa and then to Albert Lea in March of 1948. In 1964 Winifred began employment with the Four Seasons Companies, retiring in 1988. During this time, she worked in travel and greatly enjoyed meeting people, helping them plan their vacations, and visiting other parts of the world.  

She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Albert Lea, proudly serving as a deacon, elder and Stephen minister. She was an active member of the Women’s Investment Group, the American Association of University Women, the Travel Class of Albert Lea, and a 50-year member of Chapter CV of the PEO Sisterhood. She served in many volunteer activities in her church and in the community. She especially cherished her church family and her PEO sisters.

In her lifetime her family and her church were most important to her. She greatly enjoyed and felt blessed by her many friends and was deeply proud of the accomplishments of her children and grandchildren.  Wini enjoyed travels in her work and also with her husband and children. Reading, writing, and entertaining gave her much pleasure and she took great pride in her Scottish heritage.

Winifred was preceded in death by her parents, and son Dr. Brian Oetjen.  She is survived by her husband, George; daughters: Christine Oetjen of Johnson City, TN, Penny Herickhoff of Mankato, MN, Rebecca Keenan of Fridley, MN; son: Eric Oetjen of Washington, DC; daughters-in-law: Kathryn Oetjen of Fond Du Lac, WI and Chhaya Rao of Washington, DC; son-in-law: Dr. Patrick Keenan of Fridley, MN; and grandchildren: John (Julie) Herickhoff of Arlington, VA, Dr. Paul (Julianna) Herickhoff of Beauford, SC, Dr. Carl Herickhoff of Palo Alto, CA, Dr. Karolyn (Brian Bartek) Oetjen of Washington, DC, Thomas (Erin) Oetjen of St. Cloud, WI, Dr. Andrew (Sierra) Keenan of Minneapolis, MN, Dr. Joseph Keenan of St. Paul, MN, and Dr. Peter (Sara) Keenan of St. Paul, MN. Surviving great-grandchildren are Anna and Ben Herickhoff, Olivia Oetjen, Paige Herickhoff, and Conall, Charles, and Rosemary Keenan.  Surviving Scottish cousin is Helen Johnston of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Wini’s request was that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Youth for Christ (116 W. Clark Street, Albert Lea, MN) or the ecumenical food pantry at the First Presbyterian Church of Albert Lea.
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