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UI Business Alumna Ohlendorf Is Profiled

Carolyn Ohlendorf doesn’t let any grass—or weeds grow—under her feet. After retiring in 1989 from teaching business and office technology for 14 years at Muscatine Community College, she finds herself just as busy as when she worked.

The last two Saturday mornings this busy retiree could be found volunteering by handing out samples and educating the public at Muscatine’s Farmer’s Market. This year the Iowa State Extension Master Gardener’s members have taken turns handing out different weekly recipe booklets and fielding questions from attendees.


Name: Carolyn Ohlendorf
Age: 77
Family: Married for 33 years to Vernon Ohlendorf. Between the two of them they have four daughters and four grandchildren.
Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Education from the University of Iowa.
Background: Carolyn was born and raised on a farm close to Bonaparte, Iowa. Previous to working at MCC she worked in public relations for General Motors Corp. She also worked for a large equipment sales and service company in Billings, Montana.

She has lived in several parts of the country, from Detroit to San Francisco and many points between. She has lived the longest in Muscatine and said she’s found her happiest years here.

What organizations do you belong to?

I enjoy being a member of P.E.O., Twentieth Century Club, Muscatine Garden Club, and, since 1995, I’ve been a Master Gardener through the Iowa State Extension program. I am the President of Master Gardener’s.

Why do you think it is important to stay involved in organizations?

I like to think that I have something to contribute for the good of the organization. I also know that I always get much more than I give.

Did you imagine being this busy after retirement?

I thought that when I retired each day would have at least 50 hours in it and I would spend my time doing whatever I wanted! Now time flies much faster than ever before. However, I believe that keeping the body active keeps the brain active. I am fortunate to be able to keep active.

Do you find yourself involved in too many things?

Quite often I feel that way! When we retired, Vern and I were both active volunteers in the community. Now our main volunteer efforts are centered around the Master Gardener organization. We also find that taking care of our home is much more time consuming than previously.

What are your other interests?

My main interests have to do with saving the environment. I like to raise fruit, vegetables, and flowers. I believe it is important to grow food locally and practice sustainability for the sake of future generations.

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