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Ilse Ehlert-Wagner

Notice Condolences

Ehlert-Wagner, Ilse (Nee Puetz) Passed away peacefully, with her daughter at her bedside on September 8, 2012 just short of her 76th birthday, after a long battle with early onset dementia and related neurological complications. She is survived by her children Eva Tuinstra (Dave), Erik Ehlert (Julie), Andy Ehlert (Maggie) and Thomas Ehlert (Carey), her sister Erika (Puetz) Baker, and nine grandchildren. Ilse was born in Highland, Illinois on September 18, 1936 to Heinrich and Erika Puetz, and grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri. She attended Rosati-Kain High School and graduated Magna Cum-Laude from Maryville College in 1958. She received her masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Marquette University. An accomplished tennis player in her youth, Ilse was also was a theatre director and chaperone for young teenagers on group trips. Most of her adult life was spent in Wauwatosa, WI., raising her children with their father, Thomas C. Ehlert. Ilse later enjoyed the companionship and joyful marriage to Gene Wagner, Milwaukee. Ilse was involved in innumerable volunteer groups and activities related to youth, environmental education, nature conservation and the arts. She was a member of the Wauwatosa School Board, Wauwatosa Schools PTA, Riveredge Nature Center, Schlitz Audubon, Milwaukee GOALS 2000 and many other humanitarian and environmental causes. She cherished all of the beauty in the natural world. If there was a fund raiser or an establishment in need of preservation in the Wauwatosa or Waukesha area, Ilse was likely involved to some degree making her a professional volunteer. She was very social always ready to go out, have fun and explore and turned strangers into friends quickly during her travels. With her camera around her neck she recorded all of life's wonders across continents. Special thanks to her many caregivers; Jeanne from Rent-a-Daughter, the staff and aides at Northfield Manor, Menomonee Falls, Vitas Hospice and dedicated friends Elna Blass, Sandra Quirk, Jerrine Osenga and Barb Gilmore and many others from adventures across the years. Memorials should be sent in Ilse's name to Riveredge Nature Center or simply plant a tree in memory of Ilse, the biggest tree-hugger, whale-watcher, granola girl, ever. Visitation and Memorial proceedings celebrating Ilse's life will take place on September 12, 2012 from 4-6 PM, at the Schmidt and Bartelt Funeral Home at 10121 W. North Ave. in Wauwatosa, WI (414) 774-5010.
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Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Sept. 9 to Sept. 10, 2012
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