Oral E. Oelke was born in McLeod County, Aug. 17, 1920. He was taken to his eternal home Sunday, Jan. 11, 1998.
Oral was baptized by the Rev. Baumhoefner and confirmed by the Rev. J. Schert at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in rural Lester Prairie. He was a lifetime active member of the church.
The past 25 years he attended Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
After graduation from Lester Prairie High School, his goal was to go into the ministry and become a pastor. After starting his second year in Concordia College, St. Paul, his priorities changed. His father became seriously ill and he had to drop out of college to take over the farm work. He continued farming until after his father's tragic death in 1972.
In 1973, Oral bought a home in Minneapolis and moved there with his mother, Mary, accepting a position working for Hennepin County. He worked there until his retirement.
In 1992, he sold his farm near Lester Prairie which became the ShadowBrooke Golf Course.
Oral was preceded in death by his father, Reinhold, and is survived by his mother, Mary; brother Holdrein, and sister Vira Horrmann.
He is further survived by nieces and nephews, Karen (Wallace) Bergmann of Normal, Ill.; Gloria (Nylin) Noetzelmann, Minneapolis; Carol (Gyles) Randall of Waseca and nephew Lyle Horrmann (Carol) of Minneapolis; grand nephews: John Bergmann, Normal, Ill.; Scott (Jill) Randall, Waseca; Erick and Adam Horrmann of Minneapolis; and more relatives and many friends.
Arrangements for the funeral were by Henry W. Anderson Mortuary of Minneapolis.
Funeral services were Thursday, Jan. 15 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church with the Rev. Roger Holland and the Rev. Gerald Schwanke officiating.
Congregational hymns were "This Is My Father's World," and "The Church's One Foundation." A beautiful solo was sung by Bruce Wegner, "What A Day That Will Be."
Interment was in Pleasant View Memorial Gardens.
Casketbearers were Rueben Schmalz, Melvin Kroells, Roger Krienke, Reuben Roos, Loren Schmalz, and Clarence Seemann, all neighbors who he socialized with and farmed near until when sold the farm.