Maurice 'Maury' Oehler

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Maurice Lee Oehler, 87, of Prairie du Chien, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, January 23, 2020 at his home. 

He was born Jan. 21, 1933, in Mankato, Minn., the son of Lee and Flavia (Cattrysse) Oehler. He graduated from Loyola High School, Mankato, in 1951, and received a BA in chemistry and secondary education from the University of Minnesota-Mankato in 1956. He married Loretta Vancura on Aug. 21, 1956, in Lakefield, Minn. He later received his MS in chemical education from UW-Madison in 1961 and went on to teach in Truman and Hastings, Minn. He then taught chemistry at Campion Jesuit High School from 1962 to 1971 and at Prairie du Chien High School from 1976 until his retirement in 1996. He also worked full and part-time as an insurance agent for Rural Insurance and Fritz Insurance for many years. 

Maurice founded the National Mole Day Foundation, Inc. in 1991, a worldwide day of engaging students in the practice and study of chemistry, celebrated on October 23rd each year. Maury was very active throughout his life in community service with the Jaycees, Knights of Columbus, Lions Club, the Prairie du Chien Historical Society, and was a founding member and president of the Prairie du Chien EMS. He was the recipient of many national, state and regional awards, some in chemistry, and others in civic organizations. In 2016, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota-Mankato. He enjoyed camping, fishing and travel and watching the Brewers, Packers and Badgers. 

Maury is survived by his children, Anne (Tim) Olson, Mark (Kris) Oehler, Mary (David) McDonnell and Tom (Mary) Oehler; his grandchildren, Andrew (Lindsey) Drake, Jenny (Brian) Summers, Mike (Kristin) Olson, Clarissa (Sean) Russell, Nathaniel Oehler, Kelly and Megan McDonnell, Ben Oehler, Sam (Catie) Oehler; along with three great- and three step-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Loretta, and granddaughter, Angie Drake.

A Mass of Christian Burial was Monday, Jan. 27, at St. John’s Church of the Holy Family Parish, Msgr. Charles Stoetzel officiating, with burial in the Calvary Cemetery both in Prairie du Chien. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Prairie du Chien Historical Society or the National Mole Day Foundation. To leave online condolences, go to

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