Audrey Engelhart Wolfe, 86, Albert Lea

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Audrey Engelhart Wolfe, age 86, Albert Lea, died Wednesday, April 17th, 2002, at her home.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held Saturday, April 27, at the United Methodist Church, Highway 13/69 South, Albert Lea, at 11 a.m. The family will greet people beginning an hour prior to the service. Lunch will be served following the service, and an interment will follow at a later date.

Audrey was born Sept. 12, 1915, in Mazeppa to Carl and Palma (Rohrer) Engelhart. She received her education in Mazeppa and graduated from the University of Minnesota. As one of the youngest students, she entered college at the age of 16, and became one of the first female members of the marching band.

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She taught high school music and English in Cumberland and Lake Geneva, Wis., and Waseca and Bricelyn. On June 26, 1942, she and Gordon Wolfe were married in Oakland, Calif. In 1946 they returned to the Kiester area where they farmed until retirement. Several years after Gordon’s death in 1975, she moved to Albert Lea.

Audrey enjoyed music and was a long-time piano teacher in Kiester and later Albert Lea. She enjoyed travel, making several trips to Europe and attending some 30 Elderhostels.

Audrey was named runner-up Minnesota State Senior Citizen of the year in 1996. She was politically active and was for many years the campaign treasurer for State Representative Henry Kalis, Walters, and was appointed chairperson for the Southeast Minnesota Agency on Aging. She was a long time member of the United Methodist Churches in Kiester and Albert Lea, and was a district and state officer for the United Methodist Women.

She was a 50-year member of the Order of Eastern Star, and active in the League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women, Senior Adult Education Council, Senior Advocacy Board, Southeastern Area Agency on Aging, Senior Resources Board, a Naeve Hospital volunteer, and a board member of the SELCO Regional Library System. She also had received training and tutored ESL students.

As an avid bird-watcher, Audrey enjoyed her lake view, as well as playing games and doing crosswords and jigsaw puzzles. She also enjoyed visits from family and friends and following their travels and activities.

She is survived by three sons: Kenton (Mary) of Hampton, Iowa, Brian of Albert Lea, and Neal of Faribault; two daughters: Melody (Lad) Sledz of Edina, and Charity James of Ashland Ore.; a sister, Ruth Ann (Alfred) Starz of Lake City; a brother, Kerwin (Doris) Engelhart of Rochester; two granddaughters: Kari Wolfe of Vail, Colo., and Kelly (Bob) Looney of Portland Ore.; one grandson, Michael James of Ashland Ore; and one great-grandson, Ethan Looney of Portland, Ore.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and a daughter-in law, Pamela Wolfe.

Memorials can be made to the donor’s choice or directed to the Music Department at the University of Minnesota.