Anita R. Schmelzer

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Anita Rose Schmelzer, 89, of Garnavillo, died Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, at the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital.

Visitation was Sunday, Oct. 9, at Tuecke-Allyn Funeral Home, Garnavillo, and one hour before services at the church.

Funeral services were Monday, Oct. 10, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Garnavillo, conducted by Rev. Richard G. Gaul.

Interment was at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Garnavillo.

Anita was born on 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 the Catholic Daughters and volunteered at the Tower Living Center. She enjoyed wood carving 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; siblings, John (Janet) Berns Dubuque, Allan (Rosie) Berns of Winthrop, Antoinette Kann of Marquette, 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, Mike Berns; and sister, Donna Mae in infancy.

Condolences may be left and a video tribute may be viewed at

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