Melvin Oscar BeierMelvin Oscar Beier, 93, of Grand Rapids, Minn., died Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, at Grand Village in Grand Rapids, Minn.
Melvin Oscar Beier, 93, of Grand Rapids, Minn., died Friday, Aug. 31, 2012, at Grand Village in Grand Rapids, Minn.
Mel was born Oct. 23, 1918, in Hanover, Minn. Baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran, he was the son of Richard F. and Carrie (Hoffmockel) Beier. Mel grew up in Beardsley, Minn., and worked in his father’s grocery stores until 1939.
He and Lucille Burg were married June 19, 1939. They moved to Grand Rapids and began farming and worked at his trade as a butcher, renting the old Hoolihan Farm. In 1948, he purchased 80 acres on the Mississippi River. He built a meat processing plant and had meat routes in the surrounding area. He taught his five sons the butchering skills he had learned from his own father. Meanwhile, he did truck gardening every summer and fall and had several vegetable stands. In 1958, he bought the Grimsbo Greenhouse and started Beier’s Greenhouse on Highway 169 between Grand Rapids and Coleraine. He and his wife owned and operated this until he sold the greenhouse to his daughter Bonnie in 1977. Mel never really retired, as he continued in the greenhouse helping and teaching until his last few weeks of his life. All the workers at Beier’s knew to be on their best when Mel Beier made his almost daily visits to the greenhouse. His years in Beier’s Greenhouse always found him growing and inventing something to improve production.
He became interested in a gold mine in Alaska and traveled there for 26 summers. While there he explored, hunted and fished the area with the many friends he met. He and Lucille did extensive traveling all over the world. Mel and his family went on many fishing excursions in the summers and hunting trips in the fall to MI, SD, MT, ID, WY, Costa Rica and Africa and any other place they could find to hunt or fish!!
As a young man, he became an avid coin collector and with only an 8th-grade education liked to read and followed the stock market and wrote books reflecting on his own life. He has been honored in the Grand Rapids Historical Society as “an Ordinary Man who led an Extraordinary life.” He was a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church and his faith was very important to him. He always enjoyed entertaining his company with songs, jokes and stories. He loved life and did everything with great passion. People who met him never forgot him. Many times after a fishing trip on his houseboat, a fish fry for his guests was in store.
Mel never retired. He and Lucille wintered in Texas for 30 years. Coming back to the Mississippi River property in the summer, he would purchase chickens, rabbits, goats, pigs, cows and sheep and raise them as a summer hobby with his grandchildren’s help. While in Texas, he hunted deer, wild hogs and geese, and did meat processing for his friends.
Preceding him in death were his parents; wife, Lucille; and three sisters, Lila, Beatrice and Violet.
Surviving family are his seven children: Ronald (Betty) Beier, Grand Rapids, Karol (Dennis) Dahl, Cannon Falls, MN, James (Sandi) Beier, Rochester, MN, Gerald (Joan) Beier, Winona, MN, Gordon (Tammi) Beier, Duluth, MN, Melvin “Butch” (Lynn) Beier, Winona, MN, Bonnie (Blake) Stotts, Grand Rapids, MN; 26 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; one brother, Larry Beier, Beardsly, MN; and numerous loving nieces and nephews along with Ed Ford, his right hand man.
VISITATION: 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in the Libbey Funeral Home, Grand Rapids.
Visitation will also be held from 1 until the 2 p.m. funeral service on Thursday, Sept. 6, in First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids.
Memorials preferred to First Evangelical Lutheran Church Renovation Project or the Gideons. Libbey Funeral Home, libbeyfuneralhomemn.com.