VINTON - Stella Mae Ohrt (nee Baldwin), of Vinton, IA died in her home, surrounded by her family on Saturday, April 15, 2017. She was 87 years old. Stella Mae is survived by her children, Thomas Ohrt of Vinton; Teresa (Jeffrey) Kline of Cedar Rapids and Tami (Donald) Bray of Vinton; her four grandchildren; and her three great-grandchildren; her sisters Carilyn (Roy) Pollock of Cedar Rapids; Marilyn (Carl) Ohrt of Marion; and Frances (Duane) Novotny of Marion. She is preceded in death by her husband, Keith Ohrt of Vinton; her parents, Leo and Katherine Baldwin of Vinton; and her brother, David Leo, Jr. of Vinton. Stella Mae was born on September 15, 1929 in Cedar Rapids to Leo and Katherine (McBride) Baldwin. Stella Mae graduated from Vinton High School in 1947. She married Keith Merlin Ohrt on June 27, 1954 at the Presbyterian Church in Vinton. The couple welcomed three children into their home. Her children remember her as a hardworking and patient mother who encouraged them to pursue their goals. In 1946, the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company needed extra help to aid in the war effort. Bess Moore the Chief Operator at the Vinton office asked Stella Mae if she wanted to work for her and so Stella Mae began her long career at Northwestern Bell. She worked her way up to become Chief Operator. When they closed the Vinton office, she took some time off to spend with her family. She briefly worked at JC Penney's in Vinton in the accounting office. When the store closed, she went back to work for Northwestern Bell in Iowa City as a Service Representative, and then in Waterloo. She retired after 40 years of service. Stella Mae will be remembered for her love of books, her passion for embroidery, and her love of travel. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday April 22, 2017 at the Presbyterian Church in Vinton with Rev. Mark C. Urlaub officiating. Interment will be held at Evergreen Cemetery in Vinton. Friends may call at Phillips Funeral Home Chapel, 212 E. 6th St. in Vinton from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Stella Mae's life. A memorial fund has been established.
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