Winifred Oetjen, 1920-2016

Published 9:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2016

Memorial services for Winifred Frances (George) Oetjen, 96, of Albert Lea will be at 2 p.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. Dwight Netzer will officiate. Friends may greet the family one hour prior to the service at the church. Online condolences are welcome at

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 Co. in Des Moines, Iowa. On Aug. 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 World War II. In June 1946 they moved to Mason City, Iowa, and then to Albert Lea in March 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.

Winifred Oetjen

Winifred Oetjen

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She was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Albert Lea, proudly serving as a deacon, elder and Stephen minister. She was an active member of Women’s Investment Group, American Association of University Women, Travel Class of Albert Lea, and was 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, Brian Oetjen.

She is survived by her husband, George; daughters Christine Oetjen of Johnson City, Tennessee, Penny Herickhoff of Mankato and Rebecca Keenan of Fridley; son, Eric Oetjen, of Washington, D.C.; daughters-in-law Kathryn Oetjen of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, and Chhaya Rao of Washington, D.C.; son-in- law, Patrick Keenan, of Fridley; and grandchildren John (Julie) Herickhoff of Arlington, Virginia, Paul (Julianna) Herickhoff of Beauford, South Carolina, Carl Herickhoff of Palo Alto, California, Karolyn (Brian Bartek) Oetjen of Washington, D.C., Thomas (Erin) Oetjen of St. Cloud, Wisconsin, Andrew (Sierra) Keenan of Minneapolis, Joseph Keenan of St. Paul and Peter (Sara) Keenan of St. Paul. 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 St. in Albert Lea; or the ecumenical food pantry at First Presbyterian Church of Albert Lea.