Ida Louise Melsted passed away on Monday, November 9th, 2020 at Pembilier Nursing Center, Walhalla, ND with family by her side.
Ida Louise (Dearinger) Melsted was born at home on February 22nd, 1941. She was the sixth of ten children born to Oscar and Carolina (Thomasson) Dearinger. She grew up and attended school in Walhalla, North Dakota. As a young adult, she was employed by Metalmann Farms. Ida met and married her one true love of her life, her soulmate, Waldemar J Melsted on May 6th, 1967. They lived in Walhalla for a bit, then moved to Gardar and Dwight ND and lived for a time in Breckenridge, MN before returning to Walhalla, where they made their forever home. Together they raised their five children and did so with the utmost love, patience, sacrifice, and at times, perseverance. They chose to raise their children with a strong faith-based upbringing. It was highly important to Ida and Wally that their children attended Sunday school and summer Bible school, and to become confirmed in the Lutheran faith. Along with being a member of the Walhalla Lutheran Church, Ida was also a member of the WELCA and a 47-year member of the American Legion Auxillary.
Caring for her family of seven, she could stretch a dollar like no other. Her immense gardens every summer provided an abundance of canned and frozen food that would last all year. She treated her family and friends to the most amazing cakes, desserts and jelly from her giant rhubarb patch. Ida’s ability to sew, embroider and crochet was simply remarkable. She gifted her children with beautiful jean quilts and others with embroidered dish towels that she spent an unsurmountable time creating. Her lovely crocheted afghans were unmatched. She was very well known for her baking, especially her bread, buns, vinarterta and other Icelandic specialties. A donation of Ida’s bread to school fundraisers/bake sales was a guaranteed source of pride for her children as it always earned top dollar.
During Ida’s tenure as the “Tupperware lady”, her young children would look forward to the delivery days, eager to help arrange and deliver the orders. Ida absolutely loved garage and yard sales, and looked forward to shopping thrift stores, near and far. Her children knew they were in for a long day of rummaging whenever they would go to Grand Forks! She also had a passion for beautiful antiques and furniture. Once her children were all of school age, Ida worked alongside her husband, Wally, in their TV & Appliance store. She furthered her education with classes in business and she ran their shop while Wally was out on business calls. Ida then went to work in the school’s cafeteria. She loved all aspects of this job, especially cooking and the lifelong relationships she developed with the kids and her co-workers. Following a 27-year career, Ida retired from the school in 2013.
Ida possessed a strong character, charm and wisdom beyond her years. She carried herself with such grace and dignity and had such a sharp, witty sense of humor. She did not and would not allow any form of adversity define her. It is with this same spirit, that she chose to raise her children. She made sure they grew to be strong and independent individuals. Having her boys know how to cook, clean, sew and bake was very important to Ida as she always wanted them to be self-sufficient.
Ida and Wally were blessed with 53 years of love and marriage. For their 25th wedding anniversary they had a renewal of their wedding vows, along with a celebration of food, family and dance. For their 40th wedding anniversary, they went on a dream vacation to Iceland. They enjoyed their mini trips to Minaki, Ontario. Ida and Wally were known to be exceptional dancers, even placing in dance contests. Ida was very proud of her children, each and every one. When grandchildren finally made their way into her life, she experienced an even greater sense of love, as most grandparents do. She truly loved them with all her heart.
You are our inspiration and will be cherished forever. We will always love you.
She is survived by her husband, Waldemar; sons: Marlin (Michelle) Jerome of Bossier City, LA, Steven Melsted and Craig Melsted both of Walhalla; daughter: Rita (John) Steele of East Grand Forks, MN.Grandchildren: Johnathon Jerome and Michael Jerome, both of Bossier City, LA, Brandon Melsted of Valley City, ND and Erin (Jordan) Grasser of Grand Forks, ND and great grandchildren: Nolan Grasser and Graden Grasser of Grand Forks, ND. Brothers: Robert (Linda) Dearinger and Gary (Patty) Dearinger, both of Walhalla. Sisters: Eileen Ducioame of Walhalla, Dorothy Denault of Gary, IN, Leona (Ronald) Fuller of Sterling, CO, Margie (William) LeTexier of Backoo, ND and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents: Oscar and Carolina Dearinger; Brothers: Alvin Dearinger and Elmer Dearinger; Sister: Ruby Johnson; Son: Curtis A. Jerome; Son-in-law: Edward F. Austin.
Due to COVID-19, a private family funeral service will be held at the Walhalla Lutheran Church, Friday, November 20, 2020. There will be a public visitation from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on Friday at the church, for those not attending the service. Interment will be held at the Hillside Cemetery, Walhalla, ND. Social distancing and masks are required.