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September 6, 1917 ~ October 18, 2023 (age 106) 106 Years Old
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Margaret Anna Neifer (nee Kohring) celebrated her 106th birthday on September 6. Sadly, three weeks later she fell and fractured her hip and died at Heritage Corner Care Center on October 18. She was the daughter and only child of Clarence Kohring and Carrie Sophia Louisa Kohring (nee Rolf) in Toledo, Ohio. Only speaking German until age 5, she had to learn English before going to school. Many years later as WWII was nearing, her mother was no longer allowed to speak German to her sisters on the telephone as she was told spies were listening.
Margaret graduated from Waite High School in Toledo and began college at Bowling Green. Her studies were interrupted when her father’s tuberculosis worsened. Seeking a cure, they bought an AirStream trailer and headed to San Antonio, Texas where she and her mother lived for several months while her father was treated at a sanitarium. Thinking he was “cured,” they returned home where he died shortly thereafter. She resumed her studies, earned a teaching certificate, and began her career teaching in 1938 at Lime City with a combined first/second grade class. She taught a total of 25 years ending at Weston Elementary in1977. Two of her students from her 1938 class still kept in contact with her.
She married Carl Maxwell Neifer on April 27, 1941. They had two sons, David and Don. Having lived and farmed most of their married life, and their sons both at Augustana College, they moved to the “big city” when Carl took a job at Cain’s Potato Chips in Bowling Green. They lived in the house at the plant until 1968 when they moved to Sunrise Drive. She and Carl loved to travel, garden and spend time visiting friends and were always willing to visit the sick and shut-ins. She continued to live there after Carl’s death and then moved to Heritage Corner Care Center in 2019.
Margaret was a faithful Lutheran her whole life. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Mark’s in Toledo and later joined St. Mark’s in Bowling Green where she used her gift of teaching to help children grow their faith by teaching Sunday School and Bible School. She was an avid quilter and even stitched the quilting by hand and she was an exceptional water colorist. She loved taking care of her flowers when she lived on Sunrise Drive—especially her “Grandma’s Garden.” She spent many hours visiting friends or talking with them on the telephone. Margaret loved animals and was thankful for the care her cat, Tilly, was given to a compassionate care giver after she was moved to assisted living and could no longer take care of her. She made many friends during her life and anyone who knew her, came to love her. Always gracious and grateful, after a visit or an act of kindness her favorite words were: “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Margaret’s life was truly a life well lived!
Surviving Margaret are her son David Neifer, Don’s wife Cathi Neifer (nee Heyman) and grandchildren Chad (Casey)Neifer, Mike (Jennifer) Neifer, Susan (Doug) Wees, great grandchildren Eli and Noah Wees, Megan and Jason Neifer, Taylor Harlow and goddaughter Lavell Kish (nee Neifer). When the grandchildren were young, she often chided them (sometimes when they were naughty) with “Oh, you birds!” She was preceded in death by her husband, son Don and infant granddaughter Jenna Neifer. The family is grateful for the care she received by Heritage Corner Health Care, Bridge Hospice and longtime friend/caregiver Kim Stretchberry.
Memorial service will be at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bowling Green on Saturday, October 28 at 10:00 AM. Cookies, Coffee and Conversation will be held after the service. The internment of her cremains will be private at a later date. Memorials may be made to St. Mark’s, Bridge Hospice or Wood County Humane Society.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Deck-Hanneman Funeral Home & Crematory, Bowling Green. www.hannemanfuneralhomes.com