Margarete Oskolkoff Wenger
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Margarete Oskolkoff Wenger
  • May 25, 1939 - November 14, 2017
  • Mesa, Arizona

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Margarete Wenger passed away peacefully in her home surrounded by her family and loved ones on November 14, 2017.

Margarete Oskolkoff Wenger was born on May 25, 1939 in Georgievsk, Russia, to her mother, Katerina (Fast) Oskolkoff, and her father, Alexei Oskolkoff, joining her older sister, Elvira, born five years earlier. Having lost her father during the Second World War, she, her mother and her sister emigrated to the US in 1948, settling in Kalona, Iowa. There she attended Iowa Mennonite High School, graduating in 1957. Margarete went on to attend Hesston College and the University of Iowa, graduating with a degree in German in 1961.

In July 1962, she married Paul Wenger. They had four children together, Eric (b. 1963), Crystal (b. 1964), Brian (b. 1965) and Paul Jr. (b. 1967, d. 1973), raising their family in New Britain, Connecticut until their divorce in 1983. Margarete loved spending time with her children, reading to them and taking them on many nature walks, where she shared her love of the outdoors. This was supplemented by many family camping trips. She also loved her garden, which drew many admiring comments from her neighbors. When her children were older, she began teaching German at New Britain High School, and discovered her natural calling to teach.

Margarete moved to California in 1986, where she taught English as a Second Language for 10 years in the Los Angeles area before moving to Arizona to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. The temperate weather in Arizona inspired her green thumb even more, and everywhere she went she left a garden. In her retirement years, she loved spending time with her grandchildren and tending her rose bushes. Margarete's other great love, besides her family, was her dogs. She treasured them all, and to not mention them would be for her a sad omission. As her health declined in her 70's, her dogs provided her with additional loving companionship and devotion.

In addition to her parents, Margarete is predeceased by her sister, Elvira Ishkanian (d. 2017) and her son, Paul Wenger, Jr. (d. 1973). She is survived by her loving children, her son Eric Wenger, her daughter Crystal Wenger and her husband Jing An Shu, and her son Brian Wenger. She is also survived by her two grandchildren, Michael Shu and Benjamin Shu. In addition, the family wishes to acknowledge her long-time caregiver, Maria Parada, who provided her loving care and brought her great joy in a difficult time, and became a part of Margarete's and our family.

The family also wishes to thank the wonderful staff at Banner Hospice, who provided such invaluable guidance and care in the final months of her life. In particular, her nurse, Lisa Vallejo and her CNA, Rose, were invaluable in providing comfort and support as she went on her final journey. Thank you for making our way easier, and helping her to have comfort and freedom from pain and anxiety in her final months.

A gathering for remembrance will be held on Monday, December 4, 2017 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. at Mariposa Gardens in Mesa, AZ.