Loretta H. Woeltje, nee Licht, 99, died March 4. Loretta was a lifelong resident of Forest Park and Oak Park and the oldest member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Forest Park. Loretta was the granddaughter of one of Forest Park’s earliest beer hall proprietors, Henry Licht Sr. who owned Madison Street House, established in 1873. Henry’s brother, Fred Licht was an early Forest Park police chief.
Loretta was born on Marengo Ave. in Forest Park on Dec. 13, 1911 to the late Henry and Elsie Licht. She met Carl Woeltje, the love of her life, in grade school, and the couple were engaged on Christmas Eve, 1935. They were married on Oct. 16, 1937 in St. Peter’s by the Rev. W.F. Buch. Their wedding dinner was at Brun’s Palm Garden followed by a wedding reception at the old Harlem Golf Club at Desplaines Avenue and Roosevelt Road. Their honeymoon was at the Turkey Run Inn in Indiana. After her father Henry died in 1944, Loretta moved her mother Elsie in with the family and they moved to Oak Park. Loretta worked for Chicago Federal Savings Bank in downtown Chicago as secretary from 1953 to her retirement in 1976. After Elsie died in 1973, she and Carl moved back to Forest Park on Monroe St. They traveled and entertained during their retirement years. The couple visited members of St. Peter’s who were sick at home or in the hospital and provided transportation for their friends to doctors’ appointments. After Carl died in 1984, Loretta continued to do work for the church they both loved so much as secretary into her late 80s. A woman with many friends, Loretta was often seen on Madison Street. Her best friend and inseparable companion was her poodle, Katie who misses her daily.
“She will surely be missed by her family and friends,” said niece Janice Grover who remembers trips to the Ice Capades and the opera with Loretta and Carl. “We love her and she will always be in our hearts forever.”
She was the sister of the late Elmer (Lois) Licht, sister-in-law of the late William Woeltje and Ruth, and the late Chuck and Doris Schiller, the late James and the late Hazel Trowbridge and aunt of Daniel, Janice, Chuck, Beth Ann, Bonnie, Jim and Rick, great aunt of Philip, Danyell, David and Heather and great-great aunt of Natalie and Mia. Memorials to St. Peter’s Church, 500 Hannah Forest Park, IL, 60130 would be appreciated.