Minerva L. Osterman, affectionately known as Grandma O, age 91, died Friday, March 24, 2017 at Milestone Senior Living. She was born Dec. 19, 1925 in Rhinelander to Joseph and Minerva (Trotier) Vanney. Minerva attended St. Mary’s Catholic Grade School and was a 1944 graduate of Rhinelander High School.
She was united in marriage on July 15, 1946 in Galesburg, Ill. to Robert L. Osterman. Shortly after Robert was discharged from the Army, the couple moved back to Rhinelander. They began their family which eventually would total 10 children. Besides watching over ten children, Minerva found time to waitress at Onson’s Inn and the Fenlon Hotel. She later managed Jay’s Drive Inn for several years and completed her career in food service at Nicolet College where she was the manager of the cafeteria. Minerva retired from managing the cafeteria in the 1980’s.
She will be remembered for her devotion to her Catholic faith and volunteering at St. Joseph’s Thrift Shop, Friendly Village and Taylor Park. She loved to sew and had made wedding dresses for her daughters.
She enjoyed knitting, jig saw puzzles, was an avid reader and enjoyed playing board games especially playing Zastrow, also known as Yahtzee, and always looked forward to the annual family “shop till you drop” event. She will be remembered for her huge dalmatian collection and taking part in a Monday Woman’s Poker Club. She was a proud parent and ardent supporter of the Belles of St. Mary’s and Hodag sports.
Minerva along with her husband Robert, enjoyed many years vacationing in Yuma, Arizona during the winter months but most of all she loved their lake home that they built on Silver Lake and this is where she was most content. But most of all she loved her 10 children and was very proud of all their accomplishments. She was a member of Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church.
Surviving are her 25 grandchildren affectionately known as “Minerva’s Mafia,” and her 26 great-grandchildren. She will be dearly missed by her children, Barbara (Dave) Fus of Rhinelander, Jane (Leroy) Bayerl of Marshfield, Patricia Cahak of Rhinelander, Kathleen (Norm) Mesun of Phelps, Steven (Peggy) Osterman, Dennis Osterman, Terri (Ron) Johnson, Susan (Moose) Johnson, Tom (Brenda) Osterman all of Rhinelander and Laurie Fischer (Robin Peterson) of Green Bay. Also surviving are two brothers and four sisters-in-law, John (Carol) Vanney of Theinsville, James (Diane) Vanney of Tomahawk, Connie Vanney of Mosinee, and Peg Vanney of Virginia. Minerva is further survived by nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Robert in 1999; her siblings, Vic, Catherine, Mary Jane, Joe, Robert, Donald and William; one granddaughter, Jessica Gane and one great-grandson, Logan Mesun.
The visitation for Minerva will take place Thursday March 30 from 4-8 p.m. at the Hildebrand Funeral Home. A second visitation will take place Friday morning, at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church located at the corner of King and Conro Streets from 9:30 a.m. until the 11:30 a.m. mass of Christian burial with Fr. Randy Knauf and Deacon Norm Mesun officiating. Interment will immediately follow at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery. Memorial contributions in honor of Minerva may be given to the family. (Hildebrand Funeral Home)