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Estelle Blair Wolff passed away January 22, 2014 at age 94. Estelle was born in Evanston, IL on September 5, 1919, the only daughter of Warden and Hazel Blair. She grew up in Evanston and graduated from Northwestern University (1942) where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority.
She spent the years of World War II working in New York City for the Air Reduction Co., a major supplier of war materials. Before the war, the Blair family spent summers at their cottage on Gages Lake in northeastern Illinois where they met the Wolff family. At the end of the war, Estelle returned home. George shortly thereafter received his honorable discharge from the U S Air Force and they were married December 27, 1945 at the Congregational Church of Evanston. In the years following, two sons, George D. III (Dan-1948) and Robert W. (Bob-1952) were both born in Evanston.
George, Jr. spent long hours working at the family trucking company. Estelle did much to raise the two boys. She was den mother for the boys' Cub Scout years in Evanston. In 1963 (for business reasons) they made the decision to relocate the family to Wausau. They became the second generation of the Wolff family to run the Pepsi-Cola beverage company. Mid-Wisconsin Beverage, Inc. was then created and successfully developed.
Estelle became very involved as a community volunteer. She was instrumental in establishing the Wausau Hospital Gift Shop and as a longtime board member served as the Wausau Hospital Volunteer President in the early 1980's. As a lifetime member she served over 3000 hours and received the Meryl Schweitzer Award for her commitment.
She was a patron of all the arts and, along with George, a major donor for the original, and subsequent, restorations of the Grand Theatre. Charter members of the Summit League, in 2011 Estelle and George were recipients of the Tocqueville Award given by the United Way of Marathon County and awarded for service to the community.
Winters spent in Arizona were special for 25 years. Estelle was also a very good bowler who hung up her bowling shoes for a curling broom. She became an avid curler, served as a director of the United States Senior Women's Curling and a patron of the new Wausau Curling Club. She also had a love for golf and was a member of Wausau Country Club. Although she started to play golf as a teenager, she had her first hole-in-one at the age of 85.
She leaves her husband of 68 years, George D. Wolff Jr; two sons, Dan (Gale) and Bob (Peg), all of Wausau; three grandchildren, Abbe (Erik) Tolzmann, Seattle, Elizabeth (Kyle) Page, Wausau, and Lindsay (Josh) Rau, Chicago; and four great-grandchildren.
Estelle was a long time member and patron of the YWCA. She was a YWCA Garden Club member for many years and enjoyed puttering in her own garden at home. In respect of this, a celebration of her life will be held in the springtime. The family would like to thank all who helped with her care in the last months of her life. This includes the staff at Stoney River Assisted-Living, Aspirus Palliative Care Unit, the wonderful staff at Mount View Care Center, and Dr. Brian Smith.
A private family memorial service was held on Saturday May 10, 2014.
Memorials in her name may be directed to the Aspirus Hospital Volunteers, the Wausau Curling Club or any other respected organization of your choice in the local area.
Brainard Funeral Home and Cremation Center
522 Adams Street
Wausau, WI 54403
Published in the Wausau Daily Herald on May 12, 2014