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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Marjorie Oelerich

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Marjorie Oelerich

In Memoriam

Died: July 5, 2011


Marjorie May Longstreth Oelerich, age 83 years, passed into the arms of her Lord Jesus Christ on July 5, 2011, at Sunrise Cottage of Mankato, Minnesota, as a result of Alzheimer's disease and leukemia.

A service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 30, 2011 at Crossview Covenant Church, 2000 Howard Drive, North Mankato, Minnesota. Pastor Kevin Melin will officiate. Visitation and luncheon will follow the service. Arrangements are by Mankato Mortuary. A graveside service will be held 3 p.m. on Monday, August 1, 2011 at Klein Cemetery, Muscatine County, Iowa. Pastor Arnold Conrad will officiate. Instead of flowers, memorials are suggested to the MSU Foundation; Crossview Covenant Church; or a charity of the donor's choice.

She was born on December 10, 1927, to Frank. K. and Louvina Eliza (Law) Longstreth at their rural home in Muscatine County, Iowa. She graduated from a one-room schoolhouse and then from Muscatine High School in 1944. She received a bachelor's of science degree from William Penn College, Oskaloosa, Iowa in 1948. From the University of Iowa, Iowa City, she received a master's of arts degree (1964) and a doctor of philosophy degree (1969).

She married Wayne Harry Oelerich in 1951. They had two children: Elizabeth Jill and Randall Wayne. They divorced in 1960.

Dr. Oelerich taught kindergarten and Head Start in the Davenport, Iowa Public Schools during the 1960s. She taught early childhood educators from 1969 to 1990 at Mankato State College, later Minnesota State University, Mankato.

She was a leader in establishing The Children's House at MSU, Mankato. She was a founder and president of the Minnesota Valley Association for Early Childhood Education. She was a lifetime member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and its Minnesota affiliate organizations. She was a member of the Minnesota Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators. She was an active member and officer of the Nu Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma.

Dr. Oelerich was baptized as a born-again believer on June 16, 1991, at the Evangelical Covenant Church in North Mankato, Minnesota. At the Church, she served as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent, Christian Education Committee member, Covenant Women president, participant in many Bible Study groups, and a member of various committees, including Missions Harvest Festival. She was co-founder of the Covenant Christian Child Care Center (5Cs). She helped found PACT Ministries (People and Christ Together) and the Neighborhood Thrift Store.

In retirement, she was active in the Mankato Area Retired Educators Association, Retired Educators Association of Minnesota, and Take Off Pounds Sensibly (TOPS). She enjoyed traveling, family genealogy, and Bible Study.

She is survived by two children: Elizabeth Jill Oelerich Sandell (Dennis) of Mankato and Randall Wayne Oelerich of Duluth, many nieces and nephews, and many grandnieces and grandnephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents (Frank K. and Louvina Eliza Longstreth), five siblings (Vernon Eugene, Edwin Leroy, Charlotte Marie, Harriette Louvina, and Margaret Alice), and one niece (Margaret Ebertowski Leonard).