Margrethe Louise Plum Ahlschwede

January 3, 1941 - January 22, 2022

Margrethe Louise Plum Ahlschwede, 81, of Lincoln passed away January 22, 2022. Born January 3, 1941, in Copenhagen, Denmark to Mogens and Dorothea (Sulzbach) Plum.

Margrethe and her family moved to Lincoln, NE in 1949. She graduated from Lincoln Northeast High and the University of Nebraska, where she was a member of Chi Omega sorority and Mortar Board honorary. Margrethe married William (Bill) Ahlschwede in 1964. Margrethe received her master’s in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After serving two terms on the Lincoln City Council, she received masters and doctoral degrees in English at the University of Nebraska. She taught writing at the University of Tennessee at Martin from 1992-2017, where she was named the Hardy Grahm Distinguished Professor.

After retirement in 2007, she returned to Lincoln, where she was active in First United Methodist Church, Harmonics Quilt group, and a volunteer at the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

Family members include her husband William (Bill) Ahlschwede; daughter Rev. Stephanie Ahlschwede (Todd Wyatt), Omaha; son Tom (Keri Applebee) Ahlschwede, Lincoln; grandsons Jakob and Nikolas Ahlschwede, Lincoln; brother David Plum, California. Preceded in death by her parents and sister Susanne Jordan.

A celebration of life will be held on Sunday February 6th, 2pm, at First United Methodist Church, 50th & St. Paul, Lincoln.

Memorials to First United Methodist Church and the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.



Celebration of Life

First United Methodist Church

Share a Memory or Condolence

February 2, 2022

It was a gift to have Margrethe as a professor at UT-Martin, and the summer institutes and workshops facilitated by WTWP are still the best professional development I ever participated in. Margrethe impacted so many students and teachers and their students… I am grateful to have been one of them. My thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Bill and their family.

– Beth Pulley
February 2, 2022

Margrethe was a fine friend, excellent student in the English Department, and gracious advocate for peace and justice. We shall miss her, Bill. Thank you for giving her to the rest of us. Paul Olson

– Paul A. Olson
January 29, 2022

What an amazing woman! The way she lived her life was absolutely remarkable! I am so grateful to have known her.

– Don Bredthauer
January 28, 2022

Condolences to the entire family and especially to the grandchild Nicholas who played basketball at Southwest with Tyler. Margrathe was an asset to the Lincoln community In so many ways. We have learned from her example. Jerry and Helen Sellentin.

– Helen Sellentin
January 27, 2022

I shall miss Margrethe immensely. She came to UT Martin the same year I did. Her smile lit up the room; she was a wonderful colleague and so talented in so many areas. She taught me much by just being her generous, upbeat self. A saint has gone to heaven. My deepest condolences to Bill and to her entire family.

– Alice-Catherine Carls, UTMartin.
January 27, 2022

Alschwede Family, Please accept my deepest condolences on Margarethe’s passing. She set the bar for those of us who wanted to represent NE Lincoln and so gracious in helping those who followed her. She was always so humble and taught me so much. She and all of you are in my thoughts and prayers and thank you for sharing her with those of us who love Northeast Lincoln. Once a Rocket

– Doug Emery
January 27, 2022

I was sorry to see Margrethe’s passing. I was a classmate at Northeast High School and how wonderful to see all of her accomplishments. Rest in peace and condolences to all of her family.

– Karen Flanigan
January 26, 2022

My condolences tp Pastor Stephanie and family. from Judy Petersen, a friend at Southgate UMC

– judy petersen
January 25, 2022

Bill, So sorry to hear of your wife’s passing. I still treasure the many times we played basketball together at UT Martin. With condolences, Ed Knight

– Ed Knight
January 25, 2022

Margrethe was one of the most courageous and grateful women I know. I always learned when we had a conversation. I will miss her.

– Martha Gadberry
January 25, 2022

Margrethe was such a pleasure to be around. She would tell you exactly what she thought, but in a very nice way. I loved the way she loved students and provided so much more than a classroom experience. She was well respected by her peers and I was proud to have served with her at UT Martin. She made UTM a better place. Rest in Peace and thanks of making this world a better place.

– Nick Dunagan, Chancellor Emeritus, The University of Tennessee at Martin
January 25, 2022

I am so sorry to learn of Margrethe’s passing. We lost touch the last few years but we worked together at UT Martin. I was in the Business Office and worked with her on the business end of her writing grants. She was always such a joy to work with. My condolences to Bill and the rest of the family.

– Joe Croom

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