High and High School. Her father taught her to play the violin and she played in the family orchestra. She also played violin in the high school orchestra. She graduated from Decorah High School in 1943 and Luther College in 1947. While in college Marilyn worked at the radio station (KWLC) with her father. She was the first woman at Luther to earn a radio operator's license.

Marilyn taught kindergarten and first grade at Hansel, IA. Then she moved to Waterloo, IA where she filled several positions in the Waterloo System over the next 39 years. She taught first grade, kindergarten, remedial reading for grades one to six, and completed her career as the Elementary Language Art's Coordinator. She retired in 1987. Since retirement she has pursued the usual retirement activities; some travel, hobbies of tole painting, sewing, crocheting, knitting and gardening. She continues to live in Waterloo.

Eittreim, Oliver and Mabel (Rohm)

(Marilyn Eittreim)

Bio Photo

Front, left to right: Mom, Janice and Daddy.

Row two: Marilyn, Orrin, Kinley and Carol. Back row: Orv and Curt. Taken in 1944 or 1945. Curtis was home on a leave from the Navy.

Mabel Clarissa Rohm was born 5 Apr 1895 to Ole Helgeson and Minda Olava (Amundsen) Rohm. Ole came from the island of Stord, Norway. Ole and Minda were married 23 Jun 1894 in Decorah, la. Mabel graduated from Decorah High School in 1913 and then attended Valders Business College.

Mabel met Oliver Eittreim while working at the Electric Company in Decorah. Oliver was born 11 May 1894, the oldest child of Knut Ole and Maria (Digerness) Eittreim. Both the Eittreim and Digerness families came from Odda, Norway. Oliver's parents, Rev. and Mrs. K.O. Eittreim, had moved to Decorah while he was serving in the Signal Corp during World War I. After his discharge from the service he came to Decorah and also worked at the Electric Company. On 15 Jun 1920 Oliver and Mabel were married at First Lutheran Church, Decorah, with Rev. K.O. Eittreim officiating.

Oliver became a physics instructor at Luther College in 1921. From then on he was involved with Luther College to the day of his death, 18 Jun 1958. His most noteworthy achievement at Luther was to be responsible for the building of and the continuation of radio at Luther. He was the Chief Engineer until his death. At the 50th anniversary of the founding of KWLC an Oliver Eittreim Award for Excellence in Broadcasting was formally established. This award is periodically presented to Luther graduates who have distinguished themselves in radio and television broadcasting.

While Oliver spent many hours at the radio station, he had many other interests as well. He played violin in the college orchestra. As his children grew older and began to play various instruments he organized a family and neighborhood orchestra. Sessions were held in his living room. Anyone who played an instrument was welcome. In the minds of his children Oliver could repair almost anything - from broken toys, to cars, to radios. Several church pipe organs were kept in repair by him. He loved to work crossword puzzles, read and listen to classical music. The record player or radio was on from morning to night. As he grew older his favorite relaxation was to go fishing in the trout streams around Decorah.

Mabel was a good mother, a good cook and a good seamstress. She encouraged each child to do well in school. Mabel sewed all the clothes for the children for many years. She was an active member of the Band Mothers' Club as long as any of her children were in school. Mabel was a charter member of the West Side Study Club. She served as president of the Ladies' Aid, First Lutheran Church. She led many Bible Study sessions for her church circle. Mabel became active in the Girl Scouts and was a scout leader for many years.

With all these activities Mabel and Oliver raised to adulthood 7 children whom they encouraged, pushed and demanded that each earn a college degree. They had 9 children: Oliver Maurice, Jr., Curtis Leighton, Marilyn Frances, Carol Jean, Irving Robert, Kinley Owen and Orrin Hale (twins), Minda Olava and Janice Mabel. Minda Olava was born in  Decorah. She was baptized at birth by Dr. T Stabo who was attending the birth. She was named after Mabel’s mother. Minda did not survive childbirth. Oliver and Mabel’s firstborn child was Oliver Maurice Eittreim, Jr. He was born 13 May 1921 in Decorah, IA. He attended grade school at the West Side Elementary. Oliver, Jr. was an eager student. He played the piano well for an 8 year old and loved to sing in the First Lutheran Church Junior Choir. His favorite hymn was “Holy, Holy, Holy" which was sung at his funeral Feb 1930. At age 8 he had chicken pox, followed by measles, followed by spinal meningitis which resulted in his death. (See the family histories of the other children). As they have reached adulthood, Mabel and Oliver's children agree that their parents provided well for their children and encouraged them to believe they could accomplish whatever they set out to do.

Oliver died 18 Jun 1958 and Mabel died 20 Apr 1979. They are buried in the Lutheran Cemetery in Decorah.

Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living was not transcribed. See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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this page was last updated on Sunday, 28 March 2021