Ethelmae Ostrem

Ethelmae Ostrem, age 95 of Viroqua, died Thursday March 21, 2019 at Vernon Manor in Viroqua.




Sample ImageEthelmae Ostrem, 95, of Viroqua, passed away Thursday, March 21, 2019 at Vernon Manor.  She was born June 3, 1923 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin to William & Elnore (Panke) Wiedman.


     Ethelmae's early childhood was spent in LaCrosse. As a young girl the family moved to the farm outside Brownsville, Mn., where Ethelmae grew uo with her three brothers, Edward, Warren, and Howard.  She went to country school there, and attended church and was confirmed in Brownsville.  She and her cousin, Mary Jane, were very close and spent all their free time together.  As a young adult, she moved to LaCrosse and roomed with Alice Nimocks, who became a dear friend, and then her sister-in-law when she married Alice's brother, Cliferd Ostrem, on January 19, 1945 in Brownsille.


     Ethelmae and Cliferd lived and farmed outside of Viroqua, Wisconsin, where they raised their three children, Terry, Janelle, and Candace.  She also worked at the Tobacco Warehouse in Viroqua, the Garment Factory in LaCrosse where she was a Floor Lady, and then at NCR in Viroqua until her retirement.  


     Cliferd was the love of her life.  Her favorite thing to do was whatever he was doing, whether it was baling and loading hay, attending a farm auction, eating popcorn and watching TV, or refurbishing a tractor.  If he was still out farming late into the evening, she waited faithfully in her chair, reading a book or watching TV, until he came in, no matter how late it got.  She loved spending time with her family: Shopping in LaCrosse with her daughters; Preparing Holiday dinners for all the kids and grandkids, Stuffing stockings for all the little ones at Christmas and hanging them all in a row on the mantle; Baking and decorating special birthday cakes for her grandkids.  Ethelmae loved drawing and painting, whether on paper, on a tractor, or in ceramics class.  Her handwork also included knitting and woodworking.  She was a Women's League bowler for a number of years.  She took a cake decorating class and decorated lots of pretty cakes for family.  She had a green thumb: everything green and flowering flourished in her care.  She and Cliferd were members of the CMA for many years and enjoyed hours of dancing to country music.  She was also treasurer for the CMA a few years.


     Ethelmae is survived by her husband, Cliferd, of 74 years; two daughters, Janelle (Van) Thompson and Candace (Ross Everson) Litsey; 5 grandchildren, Shannon (Teresa Yeoman) Erickson, Chad Erickson, Missi Erickson, Wesley Litsey, Ben Olson, and Jenna (Jacob) Schneider; 6 step-grandchildren, John (Ginny) NeCollins, Katherine (Frank) Vandenbergh, Andrea Thompson, Michaelynn Thompson, Evon (Jim) Schuenke, and Lynnette (Mike) DeWall; 11 great-grandchildren; 6 great-great grandchildren; one brother, Warren Wiedman; one sister-in-law, Beverly (Tom Baker); 19 neices and nephews; and many friends.


     She was preceded in death by her parents William and Elnore Wiedman; her mother-in-law  Anna Norwick; her father-in-law Ole Ostrem; her son and daughter-in-law Terry and Paula Ostrem;  her son-in-law, Daniel Litsey; her  two brothers, Edward Wiedman and Howard Wiedman; three sisters-in-law, Olga Bahr, Thelma Skrede, and Alice Nimocks; two brothers-in-law, Tilfred Ostrem and Tilman Ostrem; one great-granddaughter; and five neices and nephews.


Funeral services for Ethelmae will be Monday March 25, 2019 at 12:00noon at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 504 S. Main St. in Viroqua. Pastor Yvonne Marshall will officiate with burial following the service at Bethel Cemetery. Friends may call during a Visitation at the Church from 10-12 am before the service.


In lieu of flowers or plants, memorials are preferred.

On-line condolences may be offered at

The Vosseteig-Larson Funeral Home, 123 W. Decker in Viroqua is serving the family.

© 2019 Vosseteig Funeral Homes