Cover photo for Maureen Margaret Umhoefer's Obituary
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1936 Peg 2024

Maureen Margaret Umhoefer

May 30, 1936 — January 5, 2024

Peg, whose love of family and friends left a legacy from Wausau to La Crosse to the Milwaukee area, passed away peacefully in Wauwatosa, on January 5, 2024, at age 87.

The ever-optimistic Milwaukee Brewers fan now has the best seat in the house.

Peg, born Maureen Margaret McArthur, grew up in Wausau, the youngest of seven in a family rich in love and laughs.

After graduating from St. Mary’s Catholic School and Wausau High School, Peg briefly attended Central State College in Stevens Point, Wis., before working in classified ad sales at the Wausau Daily Record-Herald.

In 1955, Peg reconnected with her future husband Tom Umhoefer, with whom she had attended school since the second grade.

They married in Wausau in 1958, and moved to Urbana, IL, where Tom finished a Bachelor of Architecture degree at the University of Illinois. They moved to La Crosse in 1960, eventually settling in Wedgewood Terrace in the Town of Shelby just outside the city. They were inseparable during more than 65 years of marriage.

Peg was all in on anything that involved raising her five children. She was a den mother, a brownie, and girl scout leader. She sang in the funeral choir and helped at St. Thomas More parish. She enjoyed Scrabble games with friends, book clubs, working out at Curves, long lunches, phone calls with close friends, and the rousing McArthur family reunions. Mainly, she poured herself into her role as the much-loved chief operations officer of the family’s bustling split-level.

She and Tom game-planned epic camping trips around Wisconsin and in national parks in the Western states, making hundreds of memories and inspiring a love of the outdoors. Tent camping adventures around Wisconsin often included the family of Jeanette and John McArthur, one of her brothers.

After the kids graduated from Aquinas High School in La Crosse, Peg and Tom snuck in genealogical journeys all around the Midwest, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and eastern Canada. Together they traversed libraries, courthouses, and cemeteries searching for ancestral information and clues.

Peg returned to college, earning an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education at Western Wisconsin Technical Institute, and working at various child-care centers in La Crosse.

She grew active in social justice causes while a member of the Newman Center in La Crosse. She and Tom hit the streets carrying protest signs at political events.

In 2017 Peg and Tom moved from the family home of 51 years to Wauwatosa, in an apartment in the Luther Manor retirement community.

Life dealt her many health setbacks, but Peg was relentlessly upbeat. This lyric from Randy Sparks’s song “Today” – a McArthur reunion favorite – spoke to her attitude: “A million tomorrows shall all pass away, ‘ere I forget all the joy that is mine, today.”

She is survived by her husband, Thomas Umhoefer; children, Mark (Susan) of Summit, David (Gretchen) of Milwaukee, John (Sara) of Madison, and Anne (Peter) Ericksen of De Pere; and a sister, Kathleen Schramm of Reno, NV. She is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her son, Robert (partner Andrea); her parents, Neil McArthur and Dorothy McArthur, née Braasch; sisters: Jane, Patricia, Betty; and brothers, John and Luke.

Please consider a tribute donation to Next Door Milwaukee in memory of Peg and her early childhood education work. Give online or mail a check to Next Door mentioning Peg, attention to: Development, 2545 N. 29th St. Milwaukee, WI 53210.

A private memorial service for family is planned.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maureen Margaret Umhoefer, please visit our flower store.

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