We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Foust Funeral Home
Beverly Jean (Rier) Melhus, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, went home to be with the Lord at the age of 92 on August 17, 2021.
Bev was born on May 20, 1929 in Clarion, Iowa to Raymond and Ella (Eddy) Rier. She graduated from Clarion High School in 1947 and married her high school sweetheart Kenneth Melhus on March, 30,1948, in Clarion. They moved to Eagle Grove in 1950 where they raised two sons, Craig and Marc, and two daughters, Nancy and Denise.
Bev began her career as a secretary at an insurance company in Clarion before becoming a homemaker. She returned to work as a secretary at the Eagle Grove Middle School in 1968, later becoming the secretary for the high school principal, and eventually retired in 2002. She deeply enjoyed working alongside the teachers and students.
Bev’s faith in Jesus Christ was her most valuable possession. She was a devoted member of the Eagle Grove United Methodist Church for over 60 years, serving as church treasurer and on many committees. She was a faithful member of the choir, and loved singing hymns, her favorite being “My Tribute” for its meaningful lyrics.
Bev was a smart, talented woman and an active member of the community, serving as leader of the Eagle Grove Red Peppers 4-H Club during the 1960’s. She especially enjoyed music, and you could find her playing the piano and singing almost every afternoon. In addition to the church choir, she was a member of the A Sharp Music Club, and often participated in community theater musicals. For many years, she and Kenny were part of a square dancing club.
Her cooking was exceptional, with her most requested dishes being homemade chicken and noodles and potato salad. She also was a fabulous baker and made delicious pies. In fact, she made Kenny a pie every day for many years. Christmas meant dozens and dozens of Bev’s assortment of cookies, breads, and candy -- especially her peanut brittle. And in the late summer, she and Kenny canned everything from peaches and tomatoes to their “famous” pickles.
Furthermore, she loved to read and do needle work. All of her family were the recipients of her many crocheted afghans, beautiful embroidered tea towels, and personalized Christmas stockings. A talented seamstress, Bev handmade many of her children’s school clothes when they were young.
Hosting large family gatherings was Bev’s forte well into her late 80’s. For over six decades, she gathered her family together for everyone’s favorite summer highlight: the annual Lake Okoboji vacation. Come holiday season, no one ever missed her Christmas Eve party and everyone was exactly on time so they wouldn’t miss their share of her chicken noodles and potato salad. And of course, the family gathered for every holiday in-between, making countless memories along the way.
Bev could “shop ‘til you drop” and some of her daughters’ and granddaughters’ favorite memories will always be those shopping trips. As a result, there was no greater place to play dress-up than in her perfectly-curated shoe closet. Bev possessed that rare great, sharp wit and kept everyone entertained with her comments and quips. She was a shrewd conversationalist and there was never a shortage of laughter in her presence.
Most of all, Bev loved her family. For 73 years of marriage, she and Kenny were inseparable, and will always remain a remarkable example of commitment and perseverance. No matter the circumstances, they prioritized each other and their family. This was no more apparent than in their giving and generous spirit - dropping anything they were doing to help their family in every way possible.
Bev is survived by her husband of 73 years, Kenny, and her children: Craig (Susanne) Melhus of Eagle Grove, Iowa, Nancy (Fred) Rose of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Denise (Buzz) Ryan of Boone, Iowa, Marc (Jeannie) Melhus of Moravia, Iowa, and brother Robert Rier of Clarion, Iowa. She has 10 grandchildren; Tina (Brian) Morrison, Brian Melhus, Andrea (Tom) Arenholz, Brendon (Lisa) Rose, Caitlin (Ryan) Powell, Allison (Christopher) Beach, Michael Ryan, Corey (Dee) Melhus, Brad (Casey) Melhus, and Eric Melhus. She has 10 great-children; Ty Morrison, Ady Morrison, Chase Melhus, Jaxon Arenholz, Kenley Arenholz, Emersyn Arenholz, Maddox Powell, Aria Powell, Bennett Beach, and Lily Melhus.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Betty (Rier) Rumme.
There will be a family service at a later date.
In a world where some families are so distant and separated, we are blessed to have had her for so many years as our anchor. Thanks for the memories, Mom.
“With His blood He has saved me, with His power He has raised me.
To God be the glory for the things He has done.”