Obituary: Katharine W. Onseson

March 2, 1923 – Nov. 4, 2023

Katharine W. Oneson, 100, of Sister Bay went home to the Lord on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023 after a brief illness and hospitalization in Sturgeon Bay.

She was born March 2, 1923 in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of the late Frank and Helen (Richards) Whiteman, Sr. When she was 3 years old, the family moved to Somerville, New Jersey to be closer to her uncle, Truman Whiteman. She vividly remembered the years of the Great Depression.

She attended Dickenson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. After two years, she transferred to Penn State University, graduating in 1944 with a BA. Her father died suddenly of a fall on Aug. 25, 1944, and in order to help support the family, she enrolled in Pace College in Manhattan, New York for secretarial studies commuting daily on the Pennsylvania Railroad. She was employed by the Johns Manville Co. and then E.R. Squibb in New Brunswick, New Jersey where she met her future husband on a blind date. On Aug. 1, 1953, she married Irving Bernt Oneson, PhD in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Irv preceded Katharine in death on Dec. 25, 2006 in Green Bay.

Katharine was a full-time homemaker living in Bridgewater, New Jersey where Irv and she built a home. A highpoint of her life was the year 1962-1963 spent in Cambridge, England with her two daughters and her mother where her husband was on sabbatical at Babraham Research Institute while employed at Ethicon. In 1973, the family moved to Silver Spring, Maryland where Irv took a position with the Food and Drug Administration.

Katharine was an avid genealogist, tracing her family back to many Revolutionary War patriots, including Thomas Chittenden the first Governor of Vermont. She was a member of the Jean Nicolet DAR chapter. After Irv’s retirement from the FDA, they relocated to Green Baynto be closer to Irv’s Norwegian and Belgian roots in Door County. Many a beautiful day was spent in the Ephraim cottage. When Irv died, Katharine moved to Good Samaritan Society-Scandia Village in Sister Bay to be closer to friends and the cottage.

She will be missed by her two daughters and their families: Ruth Hannon Oneson, MD (John Anthony Minke) of Edmond, Oklahoma and Susan Richards Oneson, MD (Russell David Kashian) of Muskego, Wisconsin; three grandchildren, Tabitha Ann Minke of Dallas, Texas, and Arek Bernt Kashian and Michael Garabed Kashian, both of Muskego; and nephew, David Charles Whiteman of Lambertville, NJew Jersey (the son of her brother Charles Seymour Whiteman).

Katharine was preceded in death by her parents, Frank Murray Whiteman, Sr. and Helen Bowen (Richards) Whiteman; two brothers, Frank Murray Whiteman, Jr. (Helen Louise Nussbaum) and Charles Seymour Whiteman (Annie Elizabeth Towle).

A celebration of her life will be held at the Ephraim Moravian Church, 9970 Moravia Street, Ephraim, WI 54211 at a later date-to be announced. Interment will be in Ephraim Moravian Cemetery, beside her husband, Irv.

Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to Karen McMurtry and the staff of Scandia Village, and the ICU, nurses Yvonne and Ronda, for the compassionate care they provided at the Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed in Katharine’s name to the Ephraim Moravian Church (P.O. Box 73, Ephraim, WI 54211) and/or the Ephraim Historical Foundation (3060 Anderson Lane, Ephraim, WI 54211).

Katharine Oneson and her winning smile will be truly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sister Bay, WI is assisting the Oneson family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Katharine may be shared with her family through her tribute page at