Loretta Woeltje, 100, Oldest member of St. Peter's Church

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Loretta H. Woeltje (nee Licht), 100, died on March 4, 2012. A lifelong resident of Forest Park and Oak Park and the oldest member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Forest Park, she was the granddaughter of one of Forest Park's earliest beer hall proprietors, Henry Licht Sr., who owned Madison Street House, established in 1873. Henry's brother, Fred Licht was an early Forest Park police chief.

Born on Marengo Avenue in Forest Park on Dec. 13, 1911 to the late Henry and Elsie Licht. She met Carl Woeltje, the love of her life, in grade school, and the couple were engaged on Christmas Eve, 1935. Married on Oct. 16, 1937 in St. Peter's by the Rev. W.F. Buch, their wedding dinner was at Brun's Palm Garden, followed by a wedding reception at the old Harlem Golf Club at Desplaines Avenue and Roosevelt Road.

After her father died in 1944, she moved her mother Elsie in with the family and they moved to Oak Park. She worked for Chicago Federal Savings Bank in downtown Chicago as secretary from 1953 till her retirement in 1976. After her mother died in 1973, she and Carl moved back to Forest Park on Monroe Street. They traveled and entertained during their retirement. The couple visited members of St. Peter's who were sick at home or in the hospital and provided transportation for their friends to doctors' appointments. After her husband died in 1984, she continued to do work for the church they both loved so much as secretary into her late 80s. A woman with many friends, she was often seen on Madison Street. Her best friend and inseparable companion was her poodle, Katie, who misses her daily.

"She will surely be missed by her family and friends," said niece Janice Grover who remembers trips to the Ice Capades and the opera with Loretta and Carl.

Loretta Woeltje was the sister of the late Elmer (Lois) Licht; the sister-in-law of the late William Woeltje and Ruth, and the late Chuck and Doris Schiller, the late James and the late Hazel Trowbridge; the aunt of Daniel, Janice, Chuck, Beth Ann, Bonnie, Jim and Rick; the great-aunt of Philip, Danyell, David and Heather; and the great-great aunt of Natalie and Mia. Memorials to St. Peter's Church, 500 Hannah Forest Park, IL 60130 would be appreciated.

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