Margrethe Strobel Calkins passed away at the Mt. Bachelor Memory Care facility in Bend Ore., on Sunday, June 21 after a long battle with dementia.
Margrethe, the first of five daughters, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark on July 15, 1924 to Johannes Strobel and Ellen Sofie Sorensen. She went on to get a degree in animal husbandry from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (now part of the University of Copenhagen). After college Margrethe traveled as a student to the United States, first to her Uncle Peter Strobel’s farm in Virginia, and, eventually, ended up studying American egg production at McNealy’s Chicken Ranch in Rutherford, Napa Valley. It was here that she met her future husband, Allard, who had also studied animal husbandry (Davis). They were married on Oct. 31, 1952.
Margrethe and Allard purchased a chicken ranch, which they ran until the early 1960s. During that time, they had three children, Kim, Ann and Steven. When the egg market crashed in the early 1960s, they built a house on family property in Oakville, Napa Valley, where they raised their three children as well as numerous pets.
Margrethe always shared her father’s love of art and started creating her own in the form of Batik clothing, pillows, scarves, place mats and Christmas ornaments. Much of which she sold to various outlets in the Napa Valley. Later, she became interested in pottery and created numerous objects that her family and friends continue to enjoy.
Both Margrethe and Allard had a love of nature and spent many days traveling in their camper and bird watching.
In 1991, they sold their house in Oakville and bought a lovely house outside of Langley on Whidbey Island in Washington state, where they could continue their bird-watching activities and enjoy their retirement years.
Margrethe spent her spare time volunteering at Good Cheer and traveling with Allard up and down the West Coast until his passing in 2007.
Margrethe continued to live in their house on Whidbey until April of this year, when she was moved to Bend. Ore.
Margrethe is survived by her sister, Else Mee, of Bodega Bay, Calif.; daughter, Ann, of Oakville Calif.; son, Steven, and daughter in law, Sheri, of Redmond, Ore. and La Quinta, Calif.; granddaughter, Alicia, of Redmond, Ore.; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins in both the U.S. and Denmark.
Margrethe was predeceased by her parents; her husband, Allard; son, Kim; and sisters, Gerda, Ditte and Mulle.
A special thanks to Jennifer Kelly and the other home care staff who took such great care of Margrethe for the last eight years, and to her long-time friends, Dan and Becky Strausser, who came to her aid on numerous occasions.
No services will be held. Margrethe’s internment will be at the Calkins family plot in St. Helena Calif., next to her husband, Allard, and son, Kim.
In lieu of flowers, a contribution may be made to WAIF Animal Shelter on Whidbey Island or to your local Humane Society Animal Shelter.