Esther Wittenberg

Esther Wittenberg, age 99, of Olivia, MN passed away on Monday, June 3, 2024 at her home surrounded by family. A celebration of life will be on Saturday, June 29, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bird Island with Rev. George Schmit as celebrant. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Hector. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Renville County Hospice. Arrangements are by Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia.

Esther Elizabeth came into the world on July 26, 1924, the fourth oldest child of ten of Ted and Susan (Lanners) Grengs of St. Leo, MN. Esther was baptized and made her First Communion at St. Leo Catholic Church and was confirmed at Canby, MN. She went to school at St. Leo, Porter, and Hanley Falls. From Hanley Falls her family moved to Hector in 1942. In 1947, Esther married Charles Wittenberg and they lived for 13 years on the George and Dina Musil Farm. Charlie and Esther were the parents of eight children: Betty, Peggy, Ron, Doug, Kathy, Bill, Deb, and Pat. Then in 1960, Charles and Esther moved to Olivia and became members of St. Aloysius parish. Esther did a few hours of volunteer work at the Renville County Food Shelf and Clothing Center and at Santa’s Closet. Ursula Wacek and Esther went to the shut-in’s at the nursing home with Holy Communion on Sunday Mornings. Esther did maintenance work at the Olivia Liquor Store for 23 years and worked at the food shelf until before Thanksgiving in 2015, when her eyesight was giving her problems.

Esther is survived by her children: Betty (Keith) Raitz, Peggy Nelson, Ron (Laurel) Wittenberg, Doug Wittenberg, Kathy (Tim) Skager, Bill (Lois) Wittenberg, Deb (Pat) Jansen, and Pat (Danyel Johnson) Wittenberg; her 29 grandchildren; her 44 great-grandchildren; her nine great-great grandchildren; her two sisters, Polly Hill and Diana Olson; her many nieces and nephews; and her beloved fur babies, Cindy and Sally. Esther was preceded in death by her parents, Ted and Susie Grengs; husband, Charles; five brothers: Larry, Ray, Ervan, Vernon, and Elroy; two sisters, Genevieve and Evelyn; son-in-law, Gregg Nelson; and grandson, Dowgie Wittenberg.

Blessed Be Her Memory

Esther Wittenberg