Melva "Blondie" Haeberle, 93, of Hermann, MO, passed away August 16, 2019 at Frene Valley Hermann.
Blondie was born in Americus, Missouri on February 19, 1926, a daughter of the late Gerhard and Clara (Gloe) Overkamp. She was united in marriage to Rubin G. Haeberle on February 12, 1946, in St. Louis, Missouri. Rubin preceded her in death on August 1, 2015.
At the age of 16, Melva Marie went to St. Louis to join other young women of the Greatest Generation in the War Effort to work at Bussmann Fuse Factory and then First National Bank. While dating Rubin, she was nicknamed Blondie by his friends. After their marriage, Blondie moved to Massas Creek in southern Warren County, MO where she lived for the next 73 years. She worked alongside Rubin on the farm, running the combine, driving tractors and trucks, raising chickens, managing the farm bookwork, gardening, and canning. She loved flowers, especially iris, and shared bulbs with friends to build a beautiful and varied iris collection. She ensured that Josie and Janet were able to participate in school and scouting events.
Blondie and Rubin enjoyed and respected nature and the land to the fullest. Through their cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation, they were instrumental in introducing wild turkey and ruffed grouse on their farm. They looked forward to each trapping and hunting season, especially turkey and deer. Blondie loved to share hunting stories and encouraged youth to appreciate the outdoors.
Blondie was an avid doll collector as anyone who visited her home discovered. She started collecting dolls in 1977, the year her granddaughter Johanna was born, and stopped in 1997, saying ‘Stop, the house is full’. She setup and opened Blondie's Dolls & Toy Shop in Hermann at the age of 90 displaying over 500 of her 1000+ doll collection, including the first doll given to her as a child.
Blondie was a member of the Case-Gore Community Club, the Case-Gore Women's Extension Club, United Federation of Doll Clubs, a charter member of Miniature Museum of St. Louis, Warren County National Farmers Organization, Missouri Trappers Association, Missouri Mountain Maids Trappers Association, secretary of Warren County Coyote Club, and a former member of the Hermann Eagles.
Blondie is survived by two daughters, Josie Erfling and husband Wilmer and Janet Melzer and husband Gary, both of Hermann, Missouri; by two sisters-in-law, Bernice Schroer and Mary V. Overkamp, both of New Florence, Missouri; by two grandchildren, Jason Erfling and wife Jessica, of St. Louis, Missouri; and Johanna Beaudean and husband Paul, of Wildwood, Missouri; by five great grandchildren, Jackson Erfling and Will, Sam, Grant, and George Beaudean, and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, one sister, Lucille Devlin, six brothers, Frank, Lawrence, Damian, Gervas, Vincent, and Norbert Overkamp.
Visitation was held Monday, August 19 at Toedtmann & Grosse Funeral Home, Hermann, where funeral services were also held Tuesday, August 20, with Ben Grosse officiating.
Burial was at Oak Haven Memorial Gardens, Hermann, with a time of food and fellowship following at The Corner in Rhineland. Memorials may be given to St. Martin's Cemetery, Starkenburg or Hermann Fire Department. C/O Toedtmann & Grosse Funeral Home.