Cover photo for Laura Oehme's Obituary
1926 Laura 2020

Laura Oehme

September 1, 1926 — September 28, 2020

Laura M. Oehme, age 94, passed away of natural causes on Monday, September 28, 2020 at Bell Tower Residence in Merrill, where she resided for over three years. She was briefly under the care of Ascension Ministry Hospice; her daughter Barbara was at her side.

Laura was born to the late Edward and Gertrude (Karnuth) Woolley on September 1, 1926 in Chicago, IL.  Shortly after WWII, Laura met Frank F. Oehme, and the two lovingly exchanged marriage vows on September 23, 1950 in Chicago, IL.  Sadly, he preceded her in death on December 29, 2008.

In 1958, the young couple moved their family to Wisconsin Rapids, where Laura made a loving home for 58 years, raising five children while maintaining an active social life. She enjoyed decorating her home, gardening, sewing and craft projects, and especially, dancing with handsome Frank, the love of her life. They were each other’s most ardent support. Together they mounted annual cookie exchanges, local picnics, family card games, and summer visits from dear Chicago friends.  Laura was active in Immanuel Lutheran Church and First English Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids, and served her community as a Girl Scout leader, PTA member, hospital volunteer, and an all-around good friend and neighbor.  She had a strong faith in God, a light and happy soul, and a quiet resilience.  Laura will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

Laura is survived by three daughters:  Oehme (Winslow) Soule of Evanston, IL; Barbara (Steven) Silverman of Merrill, with her children: Lucas (Rebecca) Kollross of Weston, WI, with baby Ramsey and Marcus (Molly) Kollross of Niceville, FL, with their children: Kaylee, Jordan, Tenley and Penelope, along with son-in-law: Joe Kollross ; Tricia (Mark) Rothschild of Wilmette, IL, with their children: Adam, Alex and Hannah Lily Rothschild; and one son, Raymond (Jamie) Oehme of Muscatine, IA, with their children: Michelle (Josh) Heberling, with their children: Rachel and Ben Kurz and Hayden Heberling; Brooke Oehme of Davenport, IA; Kimberly Morrison of Davenport, IA, with her son: Noah; and Sarah (Tyler) Sulzberger of Muscatine, IA, with their children: Claire and Abram . She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Frank, daughter Marian Oehme Hesby; and siblings Griffith, Edward, Edith, Lois, Leona and Lowell.

The family will plan a private memorial at a later date. They extend their deepest appreciation and thanks to the staff and volunteers at Bell Tower Residence for their compassionate care and unfailing good humor.

Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Laura Oehme, please visit our flower store.


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