Elsa Wittmack Obituary

Elsa Neumann Wittmack
Elsa Neumann Wittmack

March 23, 1915 - September 19, 2007
Born in Des Moines, Iowa
Resided in Des Moines, IA


Elsa Neumann Wittmack died Wednesday at the Iowa Jewish Senior Life Center in Des Moines at age 92.

Born in Des Moines in 1915, Elsa was the daughter of Elsa and Arthur H. Neumann, sister of Elizabeth Peak, a nd sister Barbara Linn who preceded her in death.

Elsa graduated from Roosevelt High School, Des Moines and later attended Grinnell College and Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Following her marriage to Charles Wittmack of Oshkosh, WI in 1939, they lived in Quonset Point, Rhode Island during World War II moving back to Oshkosh until 1952 when they returned to Des Moines. Des Moines was always "home" for Elsa as her father often noted, "Our roots are very deep here." Elsa's great-grandmother had arrived in Des Moines in a covered wagon as a baby on July 4, 1886.

Elsa Wittmack was a devoted daughter, wife, mother and grandmother who also found time to contribute to numerous civic philanthropies. While in Oshkosh she served on the Visiting Nurses' Association Board and after returning to Des Moines she served on the boards of the Home for the Aged, Commission for the Blind, and the Blank Children's Hospital Guild. She was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority, a patroness of Mu Phi music honorary, Comment Club, Junior League of Des Moines, Wakonda Club and the Des Moines Club.

Surviving Elsa is her daughter and son-in-law, Muffy and Henry Harmon; son and daughter-in-law, Susan and Art Wittmack all of Des Moines; four grandchildren and their spouses, Liesl (George) Harmon Roesch of Denver, CO, Abigail (Jay) Harmon Allard of Rockville, MD, Ellen (Erling) Wittmack Donnelly of Boston and Charlie (Catherine) Wittmack of Des Moines. Elsa had celebrated the births of four great-grandchildren.

A family memorial service is pending.

Memorial contributions may be sent to St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral or the Science Center of Iowa.




Family Memorial Service


St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral
815 High Street
Des Moines, IA 50309
Science Center of Iowa
4500 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312