Anita Rose Schmelzer, 89, of Garnavillo, died Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital.
She was born July 10, 1927, in Garber, the daughter of Amadeus and Viola (Matt) Berns. Anita began her education in Garber before moving to West Union and graduating from high school there. After high school, Anita received her teaching degree and taught country school for two years before she got married. On June 4, 1947, Anita was united in marriage with Joseph Schmelzer at Holy Name Church in West Union. Together they farmed and raised their 13 children.
Anita was a member of Catholic Daughters and volunteered at Tower Living Center. She enjoyed woodcarving and china painting. Anita was an avid gardener and took great pride in her flowers. She loved to read and to use her artistic ability when she decorated cakes.
Anita is survived by her children, Sam (Sarah) Schmelzer of Dubuque, Mary Schmelzer of Iowa City, Michael (Sharon) Schmelzer of Garnavillo, Thomas (Diane) Schmelzer of Edgewood, Tim (Kathy) Schmelzer of Elkader, Margaret (Bruce) Matt of Lone Tree, Susan Schmelzer of Garnavillo, Anna (Dave) Elder of Iowa City, Donna (Kurt) Franks of Postville, Ellen (Joe) Claeys of Iowa City and Laurie (Jim) Orth of Winona Minn.; 21 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and when counting great-great-grandchildren, we lost count. Also siblings, John (Janet) Berns of Dubuque, Allan (Rosie) Berns of Winthrop, Antoinette Kann of Marquette and Billy (Nellie) Berns of Quasqueton; and many nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Anita was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Joseph, in 2006; two sons, Dan in 1973 and Tony in 2016; brothers, Larry Berns, LaVern Berns and Mike Berns; and sister, Donna Mae in infancy.
Arrangements are being handled by Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, 001 S. Industrial Park Rd., Garnavillo, where the family will receive friends from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, and one hour before services at the church. Funeral services will be at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Garnavillo at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 10, with the Rev. Richard G. Gaul officiating. Interment will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Garnavillo.