Beverly Ann Larson Elder

Beverly Ann Larson Elder, age 85, of Mason City, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, at Good Shepherd Healthcare Center, Mason City, Iowa.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Clear Lake United Methodist Church, 508 2nd Ave. N., Clear Lake. Burial will be held in Clear Lake Cemetery. 

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service from 9-10 a.m. at the Clear Lake United Methodist Church. 

Beverly was born April 21, 1937, in Clear Lake, to Alfred and Anna Mae (Kurtz) Larson. Beverly attended Lincoln Elementary and graduated from Clear Lake High School in 1955. Her favorite childhood memories were on the beaches of Clear Lake, car hopping at the Silver Boot Drive-In and as a cheerleader at Clear Lake High School, singing loud and proud, “Can’t you hear those Lions roar!”

After high school, Beverly went on to Iowa State Teachers College, now known as the University of Northern Iowa. Beverly received a two year teaching certificate for lower elementary education. It was in the summer of 1956 she met Howard John Elder and they were married on Aug. 17,1957. She attended the University of Iowa while Howard was completing his degree in Civil Engineering. In 1959, the couple moved to Alexandria, Va., where Howard was a Commanding Officer at Fort Belvoir in the Army Civil Engineering Corps. The couple moved back to Mason City and Howard joined the family business, Mason City Lumber Company. Beverly worked as a substitute teacher in the Mason City Public Schools. 

A life-long believer in education, Beverly, while raising three children, drove back and forth each day to Cedar Falls to attend classes at UNI to finish her undergraduate degree. She further continued her education and received a Masters Degree in Library Science from Mankato State University in 1984. Starting her career at the age of 44, she worked 30 years, serving as a librarian at the North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), was the reference librarian at Mason City Public Library, and was the librarian at Hamilton Business College Library and Computer Testing Lab (Kaplan University). She retired at the age of 74.

As an active community volunteer, Beverly was a leader for many Girl Scout troops. She later organized the libraries of the North Iowa Girl Scouts and the Clear Lake and Mason City United Methodist Churches. In addition, she was on the Charles H. MacNider Museum committee, hosting receptions for art exhibitions. Beverly was a docent at the Meredith Willson childhood home. Her love and knowledge of Clear Lake history was a catalyst for her involvement in developing the Clear Lake Historical Tour which still is used by The Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce. 

Beverly was best known for her blue ribbon, award-winning strawberry jam, homemade banana bread, and Fourth of July flag cakes. Every year, she sewed elaborate Halloween costumes and made hand painted watercolor birthday cards for her eight grandchildren. As a young child, stray dogs used to follow her home and throughout life she remained an avid dog lover. 

Those left to cherish memories of Beverly, mother of three children: Elizabeth (Manuel) Villafana, of Wayzata, Minn., Sarah (Dennis) Lyons, of Winnetka, Ill., and Jennifer (Michael) Keough, of Whitefish Bay, Wis.; proud grandmother of: Elisa Beverly Villafana, Manuela Villafana, Elizabeth (William) Reily, Gabrielle Lyons, Alexandra Lyons, Kathryne Keough, Patrick Keough, and Charles Keough; great-granddaughter, Wynne Reily; as well as cousins, Randy Larson Hill, Marjorie Lee Miller, and James (Sally) Zisser; and beloved dog, Belle.

Beverly was preceded in death by both of her parents, Alfred and Anna Mae Larson; husband, Howard Elder; parents-in-law, Charles and Bonnie Elder; sister in-law, Joan Elder. 

In lieu of flowers and customary remembrances to honor Beverly’s life, the family suggests memorials to North Iowa Humane Society, 2700 S. Birch Dr, Mason City, Iowa.

Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, was in charge of arrangements.


Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

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Clear Lake, IA 50428
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