Mary Elizabeth (Kuettel) Ohlrogg - In Memoriam
- Published on Sunday, 03 August 2008 01:23
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
Mary passed away peacefully July 19th, 2008 at the Benedictine Health Center in New Brighton, Minnesota after giving up her struggle with Alzheimer’s.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband Marvin in 1993 and by her parents Frank and Catherine Kuettel.
Mary was born April 7th, 1921 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Mary graduated from Central High School in St. Paul in 1939. After graduation she began working for Montgomery Ward and Co.
On May 24th, 1942, she married Marvin Ohlrogg just prior to his enlistment in the U.S. Army (June 1942) for service in World War II. Mary and Marvin were married at the St. Mark's Catholic Church in St. Paul. Marvin was later discharged from the Army on December 28th, 1945 following the end of World War II. Marvin ended his service as a Staff Sargent with the 441st Engineering Depot. Marvin's army duty was in the south Pacific in the Philippines, New Guinea and other islands.
Following Marvin's discharge from the U. S. Army, he and Mary made their home in Chatfield, Minnesota where Marvin started a successful law practice. Mary became Marvin's legal secretary. Their home in Chatfield for 50 years became a special gathering place for family and friends.
Mary was an active member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Chatfield. Mary was also very active in her community and enjoyed good times with her many close friends and relatives.
After Alzheimer's started taking over Mary's life, she lived for a short time in Rochester, Minnesota before returning to St. Paul.
Mary's history with Alzheimer's began with dementia testing done at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Mary lived for a time at Madonna Towers (Rochester) in an assisted living apartement. In 2005 Mary moved into a dementia unit.. In November 2006, Mary moved to the North Oaks Memory Care Unit of Presbyterian Homes. Following a fall at the Presbyterian Homes facility, Mary transferred to the Benedictine Health Care Center on January 9th, 2007. During Mary’s one year and 6 plus months at the Benedictine she lived in room 205 of the Villa. (Alzheimer’s wing) next to June Berg’s room. Mary and June were also table partners (sitting across from each other) for all of their meals in the Villa dining room.
Mary was an avid golfer during her life and was a charter member of the Chosen Valley Golf Club in Chatfield. Mary was also a world traveler. Mary's travels took her around the U.S. and Canada as well as all over Europe, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
A Eucharistic Celebration of the Life and Death of Mary was held at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Chatfield, MN on July 26th, 2008 with Father Russell Scepaniak officiating. Following Mass, burial took place at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery where her husband is also buried.
Mary is survived by her sister Frances Nienow of San Diego, CA; her brothers Richard (Kay) Kuettel, of Roseville, MN and Frank (Nancy) Kuettel of Vadnais Heights, MN; nieces, nephews and Mary’s “adopted family”, Son Ni, and Thi Nguyen of California.
Stan's Personal Notes on Mary: Alzheimer's symptoms vary widely among the many victims. Mary was fortunate in that she was able retain the use of her voice for speech and communication until her final days. Many lose that ability (as June has) in the late stages of the disease.
It was apparent to me that Mary was a lady with a sense of humor amid all the normal social graces. I recall the times when I would help Mary with little things like putting on her bib (cover up) or peeling a banana for her, she always responded with a polite "Thank You." .
One time when Mary seemed troubled and angry with the staff, I asked her what was wrong. Her response included the comment: "I like to be a little difficult." After that comment and at the appropriate times I would ask Mary if she was "being a little difficult." Most often this resulted in a grin.
I remember the time that Mary displayed both her sense of humor and a sense of compassion at the same time. The days that I spend with June are usually all day affairs. I come in the mornig and leave at night. One day after seeing me underfoot all day, Mary said to me with a grin: "Are you still here - don't you have a home?" My response was: "No I don't have a home. I live in a house - it is no longer a home because June is no longer there!" Mary's face immediately took on a serious look and she said "I'm sorry."
Thank you Mary for briefly being a part of June's and my life.