Date of Birth
Date of Death
CELIA H. OLESEN, age 92, of Maple Park, IL, passed away late Thursday, December 15, 2005, at the Provena Geneva Care Center, where she had recently become a hospice care patient. After many months of declining health, she passed peacefully from this life to join her husband, Hank, for Christmas.Celia was born January 3, 1913 in Kaneville Twp., IL, the daughter of Henry and Ida (Schmidt) Wilkening. Her mother passed away when Celia was 13 months old and she was raised by her grandmother, Sophie Wilkening for a few years; and by her step-mother, Margaret. Celia grew up in Kaneville where she graduated from the Kaneville High School with the class of 1930.She met Henry "Hank" Olesen, at a dance at Long’s Barn in Kaneville. On March 24, 1934, they were united in marriage at Kaneville, and made their home in Maple Park. Their dancing continued through all the years of their marriage and after his passing, Celia went on to dance when given the opportunity, including her grandson’s wedding in 2000. Through the years, Celia worked at Power’s Grocery Store, Maple Park; Cords Ltd., DeKalb; the Maple Park Foundry; the Dairy Bar and later in Phoenix, AZ, she worked at a drugstore and for a time managed an apartment building. Though she may have enjoyed her "work", she gave her heart and soul to her husband, children and later grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Celia was an old fashioned homemaker, whose kitchen was filled with the aroma of coffee, baking and all the equipment and benefits of her yearly canning. She loved sewing and all types of needlework. When her children were young she made much of their clothing, as well as making quilts and other handiwork for the church. All of her grandchildren received a bedtime prayer done in embroidery. She was a member of the Grace United Methodist Church, Maple Park where she faithfully served in many capacities including teaching Sunday School and serving as Sunday School Superintendent for many years. In addition, she served on church boards and countless committees. By example, Celia was the spiritual leader of her family. Hank was chief of the Maple Park Fire Department. The emergency phone was in their home and Celia was the one who handled the "call list" when there was a fire. She is survived by two daughters, Marilyn (Bob) Railey of Odessa, TX and Elverna (Marty) Strausberger of Elburn, IL, and one son, Ted Olesen of Statesville, NC; eight grandchildren: Robert Railey of Sante Fe, NM, Sandra (Mark) Graves of Odessa, TX, Carl Strausberger of Federal Way, WA, Cathy (Mike) Peters of Sugar Grove, IL, Roger (Laurie) Strausberger of Plainfield, IL, Mike (Sheryl) Olesen, Markus (Marci) Olesen and Matthew Olesen, all of Geneva, IL; twelve great-grandchildren: Zoe and August Railey; Delaney and Henley Graves; Drew and Reid Peters; Payton and Ella Strausberger; Brittni Olesen, Cassandra Dupre; Madison and Maxwell Olesen; two sisters-in-law, Florence Olesen of Sycamore, IL and Faye Olesen of Tampa, FL; many nieces and nephews and a community of friends who will always remember her smile and faithfulness.She joins now her husband, Henry "Hank", her parents, Henry and Margaret Wilkening; her brother, Harvey (Lavina) Wilkening and one grandson, Todd James Olesen. A memorial has been established in her name. Checks may be made to the Grace United Methodist Church and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119.
Her visitation will be held Sunday, December 18, 2005 from 2 -5pm, at the Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL.Her funeral service will be held at 10:30am, Monday, December 19, 2005, at the Grace United Methodist Church, Maple Park, with visitation from 9:30 to the time of service. The Rev. Dan Benson will officiate.
Interment will follow at Gardner Cemetery, Maple Park.