Margaret Oestreich, age 80, died on November 2, 2022 surrounded by family and under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services at Bell Tower Residence in Merrill. Margaret was born on December 2, 1941 in Merrill to C.L. “Bud” and Jean (Walsh) Caylor. She attended St. Francis Catholic School and Our Lady of the Holy Cross High School before transferring to Merrill High School in her junior year. She graduated from Merrill High School with the class of 1959 and attended Lincoln County Teachers College in Merrill. She began her teaching career in 1961 at age 19, teaching in her early years as an educator at St. Therese School in Rothschild and the Tomahawk School District. In the mid 1960’s she was hired as a teacher at St. Robert’s school in Merrill by the late Fr. Leo Krynski. During this time, she attended the University of Wisconsin – Marathon County and University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point where she earned a bachelor’s degree in education. Margaret also loved playing softball during this time, and enjoyed the fun and friendships from those days. Also during this time, she met the love of her life, Myron H. Oestreich. They were married on June 1, 1968 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Merrill by Fr. Philip Stack. During the next 51 years, Margaret and Myron had countless adventures and misadventures, with some still having the statute of limitations in force so they can’t be cited. Over the years, Margaret and Myron enjoyed many fishing trips to Canada and sharing those stories upon their return. In 1977, they welcomed their son, Myron J. Oestreich. In 1999 and 2009 they welcomed their grandchildren Myron J. Oestreich, Jr., and Isabella. Myron passed away on August 10, 2019, and Margaret buried Myron with his wedding ring on to “remind the ladies in heaven that he’s spoken for.” In 2012, Margaret retired from teaching for the third and final time. During her teaching career she taught in Tomahawk, Rothschild and Merrill, initially teaching elementary school and moving on to English and Language Arts at the middle school level – even earning Teacher of the Year through the Merrill Area Public School District. One of her favorite stories from her teaching career was talking about when she, Bob Gruling and Eldridge Curtis created the legend of Boom Decker Becker at the Merrill School Forest in an attempt to keep the kids staying in their bunks at night. That legend was spun in the 1970’s and has withstood the test of time to become a part of local folklore. After her teaching career wound down, she spent her retirement caring for Myron and volunteering her time at the Merrill Food Pantry and the Blood Bank. Margaret’s faith was always very important to her, and over the years she and Myron served as volunteers in various roles at St. Francis Church – in earlier years with the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and then with the St. Francis Snack Shack at the Lincoln County Fair. Margaret always looked forward to her outings with the “lunch bunch” comprised of classmates of hers that would have lunch at various restaurants around the Merrill area at least once a month. Humor, Pepsi, trivia and crossword puzzles were big parts of Margaret’s life and personality. She was always very quick with a pun or one-liner, and could write elaborate pieces of prose that would leave a person scratching their head and laughing at the same time.
Margaret is survived by her son Myron (Rhea) of Wautoma, grandchildren Myron Jr. of Merrill and Isabella of Rushville, IN, sister Mary (Eldred) Kufahl of Merrill and brother Peter (Colleen) Caylor of Fairfax Station, Virginia as well as many nieces, nephews and in-laws. Along with Myron and her parents, Margaret was preceded in death by her brothers and sisters T.W. “Bill” (Darlene) Caylor, Kathryn Sensenbrenner, Michael “Loopy” (Kathleen) Caylor, Tim Caylor and Dan “Hank” Caylor. Margaret’s legacy also lives on through the countless lives she touched during her career as a teacher.
Friends may call for visitation at the Bell Tower Assisi Hall on Friday, November 11 from 4-7 p.m. Please use the entry on the north side of Bell Tower. A mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church in Merrill at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 12. Father Mariadas Vallabhaneni will preside with Deacon Jim Arndt. Please use the north west handicap entrance door #2 to enter the church. This is due to the holiday bazaar taking place. Burial will follow mass at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery. The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to the staff at Bell Tower Residence, Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, Marshfield Clinic and Aspirus Health for the care provided for Margaret through the years. Memorials may be given in Margaret’s name to St. Francis Catholic School in Merrill. Generations Funeral Home & Crematory of Tomahawk is assisting the family. View Margaret’s obituary and leave online condolences at generationsfuneral.com