Betty Lee Oelkers, age 92 of Mankato, Minnesota, formerly of Austin, Minnesota, died Sunday morning, October 9, 2016, at Laurels Edge in Mankato. Betty Lee Powers was born January 8, 1924 on her grandparents’ farm near Sunburg, MN, the daughter of Vinson J. and Gladys G. (Whiston) Powers. She graduated from Kerkhoven High School and the St. Cloud School of Cosmetology. Betty also took art classes at Riverland Community College. While most of her life was spent as a homemaker, Betty also worked as a beautician and held various positions at St. Olaf Hospital including floor clerk, cook, and in central supply. On February 25, 1944, she was united in marriage to Claudie John Henry “C.J.” Oelkers at the Trinity Lutheran Church parsonage in Dexter Township. The couple raised 4 children. Betty was a member of Trinity Lutheran in Dexter, where she was involved in Sunday school, the Altar Guild, and Ladies Aid. She was also a member of the Senior Center, the Art Center, the Farm Bureau Women’s Committee, and was a 4-H leader. Betty liked to travel. She made several trips to Europe and visited most of the 50 States. She spent time tending her flower and vegetable gardens and doing her own yardwork, including mowing the lawn until she moved to independent living at the age of 88. Betty’s other favorite pastimes included canning, cooking, baking, wine making, and playing cards. She was a talented artist, expressing herself through many media. In addition to painting, other favorite creative activities were stamping, sewing, scrapbooking and woodcarving. Betty was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Survivors include her children Linda Meyer of Bloomington, MN, Roger (Nancy) Oelkers of Brownsdale, MN, Jan (Michael) Hoffman of Mankato, MN and Vance (Ruth) Oelkers of Austin, MN; 8 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren; 3 sisters Avis Evenson of Brooten, MN, Donna Plautz of Minnetonka, MN, and Marilyn (Russell) Kneeland of Danbury, WI. Betty was preceded in death by her parents Vinson and Gladys Powers, her husband C.J. Oelkers, her daughter Claudia Jo Oelkers in infancy, son-in-law Robert Meyer; siblings Alberta Powers, Vivian Powers, Curtis Powers, Victor Powers, Donald Powers and Robert Powers.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Dexter Township with Pastor Keith Siverly officiating. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 P.M. on Tuesday, October 18 at Worlein Funeral Home in Austin, and will continue on Wednesday morning for one hour prior to services at church. Interment will be in the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery, Dexter Township. Memorials in Betty’s memory may be directed to the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, or recipient of donor’s choice. Services prearranged and performed by Worlein Funeral Home of Austin. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com.