Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 238-3434
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Oscar G. Mayer

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Oscar G. Mayer Obituary

Oscar Gustave Mayer, age 95, passed away on Monday, July 6, 2009 at HospiceCare Inc. He was born in Chicago, IL, March 16, 1914, the son of Oscar Gottfried and Elsa (Stieglitz) Mayer. Oscar entered Nicholas Senn High School on September, 1926 and graduated in 1930. He played the clarinet in the Senn band, which won national high school band championships, 1929 and 1930. In September of 1930 Oscar entered Cornell University and graduated in 1934 with a BA Degree and in September of 1934 he entered Harvard Business School. He withdrew from Harvard for health reason in January of 1936. He began full-time work at Oscar Mayer & Co., Chicago, IL in April 27, 1936. On November 21, 1942 Oscar was united in marriage to Rosalie Ann Harrison. Together they moved to Madison on in November of 1946 where they raised three sons and were active in the community for over 50 years. On June 20, 1998, Rosalie passed away. Oscar married Geraldine Fitzpatrick on January 9, 1999. In 1946, Oscar was transferred to the Madison, WI plant of Oscar Mayer & Co. He was elected President of Oscar Mayer & Co. in 1955 and in 1966, elected Chairman of Board of Oscar Mayer & Co. Oscar retired from Oscar Mayer & Co. in 1977. In 1950, Oscar was appointed Chairman of First Madison United Givers Fund campaign. From 1957-1972 he served as Trustee of the Committee for Economic Development and in 1972, he was elected Honorary Trustee. He served as Director of Madison General Hospital (now Meriter) in 1959 to 1962. He was elected to the Board of Directors, American Meat Institute in 1961. He served as Trustee of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. from 1963 to 1983 and was elected Trustee Emeritus upon retirement as Trustee in 1983. Mr. Mayer served as Director of Wisconsin Telephone Co., 1969-1983 and served as Director of University of Wisconsin Foundation, 1969-1981. From 1970 to 1981, he served as Midwest Chairman of U.S. Savings Bond Drive. He served as Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from 1973 to 1978. In 1976, he was elected Director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 1977 he was elected Lifetime Honorary Member, Madison YMCA. Oscar Mayer received honorary LLD degrees from the University of Wisconsin in 1977, from Beloit College in 1981, and from Edgewood College in 1991. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association in 1980. He was named Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame Laureate in 1990 and in 1996 was elected to Wisconsin Meat Institute Hall of Fame. On May 7, 2000 he received Lifetime Achievement Award from Madison Community Foundation. Over the years, Oscar was active in many memberships in the following clubs: Maple Bluff Country Club, Madison Club, Chicago Club, Thunderbird Country Club, and Blackhawk Country Club. Oscar is survived by Geraldine, his loving wife of 11 years; his three sons, Oscar Harrison, Donald Lawrence, and William Edward; eight grandchildren, Oscar Henry, Stephanie Mayer Heydt, Patricia Mayer Lewis, Michelle Louise Gates, Chadwick Patterson Gates, Charlotte Marie Mathena, Donald Lee, and Wendy Ann; 13 great-grandchildren, Oscar Raymond, Elizabeth Danuta, Charles Harrison Heydt, Eleanor Gray Heydt, Carl Dolan Lewis, Hayden Lee Lewis, Grace Harrison Lewis, Samuel Montgomery Gates, Jacob Patterson Gates Joshua Alfred Gates, Emory Lane Mathena, Ethan Garrett Mathena and Emerson Lawrence Mathena; and his brother, Allan Carter. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Rosalie; brother, Harold Max; and sister Elinor Marie. Public visitations will be held at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Rd., on Thursday, July 9, 2009 from 4 to 7:00 p.m. and again on Friday, July 10, 2009 at the funeral home from 4 to 7:00 p.m. Funeral Services will follow for extended family members. A public memorial event is being planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in memory of Oscar to: Madison Community Foundation, P.O. Box 5010, Madison, WI 53705-0010 and United Way of Dane County, 2059 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704.

Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication from July 8 to July 15, 2009
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