Claus W. ‘Skip’ Oldenburg
March 10, 1934 — Oct. 16, 2014
Claus Wilhelm “Skip” Oldenburg was born in New York City to German immigrant parents, Maria and Heinrich Oldenburg. Sadly, cancer took its toll on October 16, 2014, at the age of 80 years in Brookfield. “Skip” grew up in New Jersey where at age 14 he began a lifelong love of golf by caddying at an exclusive country club. He first envisioned life as a forest ranger and began studies at the University of Georgia, but a short time later he joined the Navy which deployed him to the Mediterranean and brought him to the Great Lakes Center in Illinois. After discharge, job opportunities found him in Wisconsin. He spent many years at Delco Electronics in Oak Creek until that company suffered setbacks that caused thousands of layoffs.
His talents as a computer programmer/analyst took him to the Fox Valley and back, finally working for Generac in Waukesha.
He and Carole Bilich were married 42 beautiful years ago in New Berlin, blending a family of five terrific children.
Throughout their marriage, the couple took every opportunity to travel. Skip was a fearless driver, crossing the U.S. several times and driving through Mexico and Belize as they visited most of the major archaeological sites. Road Scholar programs were a favorite as were trips to Russia and Greece. After retirement, he and Carole became involved in the Learning in Retirement program at WCTC. In addition to attending classes, Skip served on the board in several capacities including two terms as president.
His warm, congenial manner made friends in every corner — in the neighborhood, in the golf league, in the office, in the Fox Valley Unitarian Fellowship and among the many home-bound seniors to whom he delivered Meals on Wheels. Also, so many in the Footnotes Dance Club (Skip was an awesome ballroom dancer). If Skip was in the garden (often), neighborhood dogs knew to stop in the driveway, he always had a treat for them. He made sure the birds were fed, but he had a special relocation program for squirrels — and rabbits had just better run. Skip loved working with wood, turning out beautiful bowls and other items for family and friends to enjoy. His basement lathe was a special place to relax.
He will be forever missed by his wife Carole and his sons William (Susan) of Lindenhurst Ill., and Mark of Oceanside, Calif., and stepchildren Diana (Jerry) Jonen of Slinger, Daniel (Denise) Bilich of Capitola, Calif., and David (Lisa) Bilich of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Skip was “Opa” to grandchildren Matt Oldenburg of Lindenhurst, Ill., and Andrea Oldenburg of Portland, Ore.; stepgrandchildren Rachael (Steven) Persons of Milwaukee and Dr. Rebecca (Tommy) Varebrook of San Antonio, Texas; and very special “Grossopa” to 4-month-old Piper Varebrook.
Skip’s parents and younger brother, Howard, of Cape Coral, Fla., preceded him in death.
In lieu of flowers, memorials will be donated in Skip’s name to The American Cancer Society.
Visitation will be from 1:00PM to 2:45PM on Saturday, November 1, at Church and Chapel Funeral Home, 380 Bluemound Road (at highways J and JJ, four blocks south of Interstate 94), Waukesha. A 3:00PM memorial service will follow. Inurnment will take place at a later date.
Church and Chapel Rudolph-Larsen Bros. Funeral Home is serving the family. For more information, call 262-549-0659 or visit www.churchandchapel.com to view the online obituary, leave condolences or receive directions.