Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mary Virginia Wackerhagen

Mary V. Wackerhagen died on Tuesday, August 30, 2011, at Wheaton-Franciscan-All Saints Hospital. While born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 30, 1930, to the late Edward and Mary (nee Lewis) Wackerhagen, she grew up in Racine.

She graduated from Beloit College and did graduate work at the University of Iowa to become a Certified Orthoptist. She worked, mostly with children, as an Orthoptist (assessing eye muscle problems), in Moultrie, GA, Little Rock, AR, and Buffalo, NY. While working in Little Rock she was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Society to Prevent Blindness and, she took time off to be the executive assistant to Dale Alfred, who spent one term as an Arkansas congressman in the US House of Representatives.

In pursuit of her profession, she rose to international prominence. Her life's goal was to educate the public on the importance of screening children at an early age (prior to year five, if possible) for vision problems. Toward this end, she performed vision screening of young children and she taught volunteers to do such screening to increase the number of children who can be examined. When she returned to her home town, she continued these efforts.

Her interest in lighthouse preservation led her to be one of the founders of The Friends of the Wind Point Lighthouse, where she served as president. She was an initial member of the Mitchell Car Club. She enjoyed traveling, the arts, was an avid reader, was a sharp crossword-puzzle solver, gardener and nature lover.

Private interment was held at Mound Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, if desired, donations may be made to Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, or to a charity of your choice.

The family wishes to extend our grateful thanks to the wonderful staff of Home Instead who assisted Mary in her home for many months.

803 Main St., Racine  (262) 634-7888.

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