Margaret Dulitz Wildhaber, 100, passed away while listening to harp music on the evening of Sept. 10, 2019, after a long, happy life at her residence in Chehalis, Wash. She was born on Christmas Day in 1918, to Benjamin “Frank” and Louise Johanna (Roehrich) Dulitz. Margaret was the eldest of four children living on her parents’ farm in Webster, S.D.
She had strong roots in her Christian faith, starting at an early age. This devotion throughout her life kept her involved and active at the United Methodist Church in Chehalis. Margaret had the privilege of teaching Sunday School, leading vacation Bible School classes, serving as Sunday School Superintendent and the President of United Methodist Women, or UMW. Margaret felt that children were our future, and should receive nurturing and guidance to reach their full potential.
After graduating from Northern State Teacher’s College in 1938, Margaret was employed as an elementary school teacher. In 1941, she went to work for Ma Bell, taking a brief leave of absence to serve our country from 1944 to 1946 as a radioman with the United States Navy WAVES. Following her service during World War II, Margaret moved to Seattle and began working for Pacific Northwest Bell. A short time later, she was promoted and sent to Yakima, where she met her future husband, Tony.
Margaret married Anton "Tony" Windelin Wildhaber Oct. 6, 1952, in Chehalis. The couple moved to the Chehalis area in the mid-fifties. While raising the children, Margaret worked at WSU Lewis County Extension, a job she loved due to her interest in agriculture.
In her spare time, she sewed her children’s clothing, gardened and canned food. Margaret was also involved in PTA, 4H, and after retirement, was a volunteer classroom helper for 10 years. Margaret was a lifelong student, and had many interests. She challenged herself with difficult reading on a variety of subjects, and frequently attended Lyceum lectures at the college. She took Spanish and German language classes, as well as ballet classes and violin lessons.
Margaret loved music and often attended local concerts, as well as events featuring the NW Symphony Orchestra. Growing orchids was her passion, and an abundance of blooms were always greeting you at her kitchen window. Margaret took watercolor classes when she was in her mid-eighties. These paintings are treasures left behind by a remarkable woman, mother and friend.
Margaret was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Tony; and two of her children, Lynnette and Christopher.
She is lovingly remembered by her children, Maryanne Evans of Chehalis, Daniel Wildhaber of Centralia, Wash., and Valerie (Mike) Sullivan, also of of Centralia. Margaret’s absolute joy were her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her grandchildren are Marc (Meredith) Sobolesky and Alexandra Sullivan; great-grandchildren are Thad and Elise Sobolesky.
A celebration of Margaret’s life will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, at the United Methodist Church in Chehalis. Inurnment will take place at a later date at Claquato Cemetery, also in Chehalis.