Reona Mae Schelhaas was born on a farm near Chandler MN on April 30, 1935 to Martha (Schoolmeester) and William Olivier. She attended country school through the third grade before attending school in Edgerton MN, graduating from Edgerton Public High School in 1953. She was employed at the Edgerton Phone office.
On August 26, 1955, Reona married Bert Schelhaas. Following their wedding, they moved to Minneapolis, where Bert attended Dental school at the University of Minnesota. Bert and Reona lived in married student housing where they eventually started their family. Both Juanita and Ardeth were born there. Reona raised the girls during the day, and worked part-time in the evening.
After Bert graduated, the couple moved to Edgerton, where Bert opened his Dental practice. Bud and Drew were born and Reona spent her time as a homemaker, as well as helping with the bookwork for Bert’s office.
Reona was active in her church, including the Priscilla Circle, as well as in the community. She was involved with the boards of several organizations in Edgerton. She also taught Sunday School and chatechism. Reona enjoyed playing the piano and was a talented seamstress. She tried to pass this on to her daughters. She was an avid reader, once reading over 200 books in a year. Reona enjoyed bowling, and bowled the first 200 game in the new bowling alley and was awarded with a new ball for that accomplishment. At one time she bowled in three leagues, including a mixed couples league with Bert.
Bert and Reona loved spending time together, playing cards and games, camping, and traveling around the country, as well as trips to Alaska, Hawaii, and Mexico. They would also take day trips, searching for “hidden treasures“ of hard to find Precious Moments and places to eat. Eventually, they had over a thousand Precious Moments-and many more happy memories.
After Bert retired, he and Reona became active members of the Holiday Ramblers, a group of people who had Holiday campers and RVs. Here, they met many new friends, again traveling the country, including a month spent in Alaska.
Reona loved being a part of her children’s and grandchildren’s lives, and took great pride in them.
She was a wonderful example for her family, walking in faith and loving unconditionally.
Reona was always at Bert’s side, and especially took care of him as he faced some health issues near the end of his life. Reona always referred to Bert as her one true love, and this was always on display.
In 2015, Reona was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She moved to assisted living in 2017, and to the Edgebrook Nursing Home in 2020. After struggling with the affects of Alzheimer’s disease, she is now at peace, embraced in the arms of Jesus. She passed away on July 17 at Edgebrook Rest Center in Edgerton.
She was preceded in death by her husband Bert, her sister Judy, and her parents. She is survived by her daughter Juanita (Jay) of Primghar Iowa, daughter Ardeth (Dean) of Edgerton Minnesota, son Bud of Edgerton Minnesota, son Drew (Nancy) of Sioux Falls South Dakota, as well as seven grandchildren-Josalynn (Bob)Agnew, Jamin (Jeana)Anliker, Shaun (Carrie)Fransen, Bret (Lindsay)Fransen, Erika (Adam)Kellenberger, Jack Schelhaas, and Bennett Schelhaas-as well as 13 great-grandchildren, and a brother Del (Jane) Olivier of Sioux City, Iowa.
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