The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker


November 29, 2012

Katherine Oesleby

    Katherine Oesleby, 97, entered eternal life with her Savior in heaven early on November 29, 2012, at Pathstone Living in Mankato. Funeral services will be at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Mankato on December 1 at 11 a.m. with visitation from 9 - 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will be at Scarville Synod Cemetery in Scarville, Iowa. Woodland Hills Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements; see website.

  Katherine Oesleby was born on October 13, 1915, to Jacob and Bertha Olson in Scarville, Iowa, the oldest of three children, in the house that her grandfather had built on the family homestead.  Katherine was baptized in infancy and later confirmed in the Christian faith at Scarville Synod Lutheran Church. She attended high school in Scarville, where she played violin and piano and edited the school paper.  She graduated from Bethany Lutheran College and taught at several one-room schools near Scarville.  During this time she met her future husband, Rev. Nils C. Oesleby, who was the vicar at a nearby church, and they were married on May 27, 1941. They lived in nearby New Hampton, where he served as pastor. In 1942, they moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. In 1946 they moved to Madison, Wisconsin. In 1961, the family moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She was employed there at Presto Industries until 1980, when she retired. In 1972 her husband Nils died of cancer. In 1986 she moved to Hudson, Wisconsin to be near her daughter Ruth. In 2001, she moved to Mankato, Minnesota.

  Throughout her life, Katherine was known for her unfailing kindness and good humor, her warm smile and gentle voice. She loved music, baking and gardening.

  She was preceded in death by her husband and her brother, Harry Olson. She is survived by her children, John Oesleby, Napa, California; Ruth (Mrs. Robert) Heidenreich, Mankato; Esther Oesleby, New Richmond, Wisconsin; and Thomas Oesleby (Gwen Trefts), Salt Lake City, Utah; her three grandchildren Christine (Scott) Oelhafen, Susan (Loren) Halvorson, and Michael Heidenreich; two step-grandchildren Robert and Hubbard Coe; and six great-grandchildren Daniel, John and Madeline Halvorson, and Stephen, Katherine, and Hannah Oelhafen. Also surviving are her sister, Eva Hausmann of Darien, Illinois, her sister-in-law, Signe Olson of Mankato, Minnesota, and many nieces, nephews and their children who gathered each October to celebrate the birthday of "Aunt Katie."

  The family especially wishes to thank the entire staff at Pathstone Living for their excellent care and attention for the past months. Memorials are preferred to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod Seminary, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, or Pathstone Living.


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