Winifred Ehlers died in her home at Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers on Sept. 25, 2010. Born on Aug. 16, 1914 to Walter H. and Effie Bell Strength in Marshall, Texas, she received her Bachelor of Science degree and Teaching Certificate from North Texas State Teacher’s College and taught Elementary and High School before marrying Benjamin Foreman Wood in 1941.
Colonel Benjamin Wood’s duties, while serving as a career military officer with the U.S. Army, took them throughout the United States, the Philippines and Japan. During these years, Winifred developed a love for Japanese and Asian Culture and Antiquities and the art of Japanese Flower Arranging.
After Colonel Wood’s death in 1960, Winifred married Martin Ehlers in 1965. They lived in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, for many years before retiring to their home on Sanibel. After enjoying many years on Sanibel, Winifred and Martin moved to Shell Point Retirement Community in 1992.
Winifred will be remembered and loved by many friends and family members; she will be especially remembered as an amazing grandmother with tireless patience and a fun-loving spirit by the grandchildren she inherited when she married Martin Ehlers.
Winifred was preceded in death by her parents and beloved second mother, Janie R. Strength, her brother John (Jack) Strength, her nephew Phil Strength, and her husbands — Colonel Benjamin Wood and Martin Ehlers.
She is survived by her step-son Thomas Ehlers and his wife, Sandy McCartney Ehlers, of Minnesota and Florida; her grandchildren Joseph Ehlers and (Sarah Nelson), and their children Gabriel and Claire, of Minnesota; Genevieve Drutchas and (Richard), of Vermont; and Michael Ehlers of New Mexico; by her sister-in-law Ann Strength Antill, as well as her nieces Janie Strength Langford and (Walter) and their children Cameron and Lura, and Amanda Strength Stewart and (Scott), and their children Sean and Sara, and by her nephew John Strength and (Fran), all from Texas, and by her great-nephews John Charles Strength, of Pennsylvania , Jeremy and Zachery Strength, of Texas.
Arrangements are being made by Kiser Funeral Home in Fort Myers and Sullivan Funeral Home in Marshall,Texas. There will be a graveside service for the family in Texas. In lieu of flowers donation can be made Lee Memorial Children Hospital or Women Health Center or to a charity of your choice for women or children.