Frances M. Mennenga, 99, Belmond, died Feb. 13, 2021 at Iowa Specialty Hospital - Clarion, four days short of her 100th birthday. Services were held Feb. 20 at the Belmond United Church of Christ. Burial was at Cedar Cemetery in Fonda.
Frances Marcella, daughter off Otto and Florence (Carlson) Herke, was born Feb. 17, 1921 in Fonda. She was confirmed at the United Church of Christ in Fonda. She attended country school in Pocahontas County for eight years, then attended and graduated from Fonda High School.
Frances married Lyle White and they made their home in the Fonda area where Frances was employed as school secretary from 1956-1965 and Lyle was a plumber. They moved to Belmond where Lyle went to work for Kinseth Plumbing and did plumbing for Winnebago Industries. Frances went to work for Tomco Seed Company and then Acco Seeds. She then was employed for Cargill as personnel manager and payroll clerk until her retirement in May 1986.
Lyle died March 3, 1976. Frances married Louis Mennenga on March 14, 1986 at the Belmond United Church of Christ where they had met. They enjoyed over 27 years together, sharing many years of traveling and time with one another's family. Travel destinations included many parts of the eastern U.S., Maine, Washington D.C., California and Alaska.
Frances had a strong faith throughout her life. She loved to share her faith with others and relished every opportunity she could to share stories about her family. She never had her own children, but adopted the rest of her family members as if they were her own. All who knew her will remember her as a lady of strong beliefs, with a straight forward mannerism, yet a gentleness in her own character.
Frances and Louis had enjoyed a little gambling and excursions to the dog races. She liked the competition of card games such as 31, or the challenges of Jenga and Rummicube. Frances collected elephants, which most likely flourished from her memories of attending the circus as a child with her grandpa. She also collected tea cups and recipes. She was an excellent cook and looked forward to family dinners and gatherings over the years. She was a wonderful seamstress and had terrific handwriting. Frances always kept track of special occasion in people’s lives and remembered them by sending cards and letters. Her memory was amazing, and as recent as a week before her 100th birthday she shared that she had had many great life chapters with both her husbands, Whitey and Louis.
She was preceded in death by her sisters Lois Herke and Beulah Telfer; husbands Lyle “Whitey” White and Louis Mennenga (2014); nephew Delbert Sievers; great nephew Paul Sievers; and step son Dwight Mennenga.
Survivors include many nieces and nephews and other extended family. Some of the more immediate family includes niece Carol Hussey; great niece Kimberly Quirin of Storm Lake; great great nieces and nephews Crystal Spray of Cedar Falls, Caren Sievers of Nashville, TN, Connor Sievers of LeMars, Joshua Quirin of Des Moines, and Marcia Hoffard of Storm Lake; along with other family members from both of her marriages, including step children Sondra (Glen) Sellers and Lorinda (John) Hermann; and step grandchildren.