Sunday, February 15, 2004

Obituary: Ruth Oldenburg - Class of 1930

MADISON/ VENTURA, CALIF. - Ruth Oldenburg Mackie, age 90, of Madison, and Ventura, Calif., passed away at home in Ventura on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2004. Ruth was born in Madison on Feb. 21, 1913. She was the youngest of five children, Albert, Carl, Edith and Olive, born to Carl and Emma Oldenburg. She grew up in Madison and graduated from Central High School in 1930, with the highest honor of Valedictorian of her class. She also attended the University of Wisconsin. Ruth married David Earl Mackie Sr. in 1937, and they had one son, David. Ruth's intelligence, skills, and competitive spirit served her well in her chosen career as an executive and corporate secretary and office manager. She joined the Celon Company of Madison in 1939, and organized and maintained its demanding national business activities of record keeping, interstate business, and bookkeeping into a smoothly functioning system both in Madison and New York City. Her reputation for performance, business judgment, and loyalty received the highest commendations through the years. Like many women of her era, Ruth enjoyed knitting and crocheting. She created fabulous works of crochet art and knitted countless booties, bonnets and jackets for her loved one's babies. She was an accomplished bridge player who loved the thrill of a good competitive card game with her friends and family. She also had a passion for music and was a remarkable keyboard musician. Ruth played the piano, organ and accordion. Both classically trained and born with a natural talent to play by ear, Ruth could play any tune that was in her head, and there were thousands of them. After more than 60 years of professional life, Ruth retired in Madison where she was a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church. She moved to California in 1996 to enjoy the ocean, the warm sun, the sunsets, visits from her mid-western family, and the people she would meet in her later years. "Fufie," as she was called by her loving family, leaves behind a legacy of strength, determination, and adventure in her family and friends. She is survived by her son and his wife, David and Toni Mackie of Ventura; her great-nephew, Steven Rasmussen, his wife, Lynn; her great-great nieces, Stephanie and Dana; her very special niece, Judy Pollock and her husband, Kenny and their family; her niece, Earleen Rasmussen; her niece, Gwen Frey and her husband, Rex and their family; her niece, Jane Rasmussen and her family; her nephew, Dr. David Smedal, his wife, Janice and their family; her niece, Nancy Smedal; her great niece, Bobbie Taylor and her husband, Don and their family; her granddaughters, Lisa, Christie, Jeneffer and Angelica; her grandsons, Chris and Mark; five great-grandchildren; and her very special extended family members, Teri and Neal Brader of Springfield, Mo., Mel and Marilyn Magnet of Whittier, Calif., and Joanne and Paul Morris of Ventura, Calif. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Feb. 16, 2004, at 2 p.m. at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL HOME, 5203 Monona Drive. Visitation will be held on Monday from 1 p.m. until time of services at the funeral home. Gunderson East Funeral Home 5203 Monona Dr. (608) 221-5420

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on February 15, 2004

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