Cover photo for Erna   Muhlbauer Odendahl's Obituary
Erna   Muhlbauer Odendahl Profile Photo
1926 Erna 2017

Erna Muhlbauer Odendahl

November 15, 1926 — January 30, 2017

     Erna, daughter of Henry and Anna (Passig) Frees, was born November 15, 1926 at home in Irwin, Iowa.  She attended country school through 8th grade and graduated from Irwin High School in 1945. Erna was sponsored by Shelby County to attend Iowa State Teacher’s College in Carroll to teach country school at Polk #2, which was ¼ mile from her parent’s farm.  She taught there for two years.

     On June 29, 1948 Erna was united in marriage with Joseph John Muhlbauer at Sacred Heart Church, Manning.  Joe and Erna purchased a farm north of Manning where they raised their three daughters.  They built a new home in Manning when they retired in 1978.  Erna and Joe spent many winters in southern Texas and also traveled all over the United States and Europe.  After 41 years together, Joe died on June 30, 1989.  On June 10, 1995 Erna was united in marriage with Louis Odendahl at Sacred Heart Church in Manning.  Louis died October 1, 2016 and Erna moved to the new CharMac Assisted Living facility in Manning.

     Erna was a member of Garden Club and member and past-president of the Homemakers Club and the Altar and Rosary Society of Sacred Heart Church in Manning.  She also taught CCD classes and directed the Christmas Programs for many years.  Erna was also a current member of the Manning Hospital Auxiliary.  She was known for her hospitality and everyone who came to her home was offered coffee and snacks.

     After a brief illness Erna died on Monday, January 30, 2017 at Manning Regional Healthcare Center, Manning, Iowa.  She was 90 years, 2 months and 15 days of age.

     Besides her parents, Erna was preceded in death by her first husband Joseph Muhlbauer and second husband Louis Odendahl; brother Henry (Velma) Frees; sisters Lillie (Gary) Essler and Margaret (Frank) Trumph; brothers and sisters in law: Chas (Anne) Muhlbauer, Henry (Ruby) Muhlbauer, Anthony (Laura) Muhlbauer, William Muhlbauer and Louis Muhlbauer; Rose Ann Nulle, Sophie (Wayne) Kuhse and Marie (Vic) Wendl.

    Erna is survived by her three daughters Mary (Mark) Frederiksen of Atlantic; Elizabeth (Allen) Eckhoff of Beatrice, NE; Joleen (Bill) Strosahl of Council Bluffs; six grandchildren: Heather(Mark) Nosekabel, Jon (Laura) Frederiksen, Allen (Melissa) Eckhoff, Andrea (Jed) Pedersen, Devon Strosahl and Lauren Strosahl; six great grandchildren: Shelby Nosekabel, Ethan Eckhoff, Austin Eckhoff and Maxwell, Miles and Marcus Petersen;  brother John (Margaret) Frees of Manning; brothers and sisters in law Wesley Nulle of Manning, Iola Muhlbauer of Manning and Phyllis Muhlbauer of Manilla; stepchildren: Ron (Edna) Odendahl of Carroll, Gary (Karen) Odendahl of Carroll, Joe (Sharon) Odendahl of Manning and Lynn Odendahl of Manning; 13 step grandchildren; 24 step great grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Reverend Gary Snyder, Celebrant



Karen Frees


Mass Servers

 McKenna Mullen     Jenna Mulle


Echaristic Minister

Allen Muhlbauer


Gift Bearers

Erna’s Daughters



“Here I Am Lord”    “Ave Maria”   

“Amazing Grace”    “How Great Thou Art”

Sacred Heart Choir    Anne Muhlbauer, Organist


Casket Bearers

Allen Eckhoff    Andrea Pedersen

Devon Strosahl   Lauren Strosahl   Jon Frederiksen   Heather Nosekabel

   Brooke Odendahl   Kaylee Odendahl

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