Verna Mae (Meland) McNeal passed away November 21, 2020 at Edgewood Vista in East Grand Forks, MN. She was born May 3, 1928 in Pelican Rapids, MN to Nils Meland and Marie Josephine (Olson) Meland.
Her childhood years were spent in the Pelican Rapids area playing with her three sisters and four brothers along with numerous cousins and friends. The family moved to Bemidji, MN when she was a freshman in high school. Verna was noted for her artistic talent and drew illustrations for the Bemidji High School yearbook as well as other school events. After high school graduation, she worked as a soda-jerk at Barker’s Drug in Bemidji. Later, she worked at JC Penney as their window decorator and won competitions for Christmas displays in the community.
Verna married Arnold McNeal on August 27, 1949 at First Lutheran Church in Bemidji, MN. They both worked at JC Penney until they moved to Baudette, MN to start their own department store in 1956. They owned and operated Arnold’s Department Store in Baudette, MN and Roseau, MN. After retirement, they enjoyed spending their summers in Baudette and winters in Arizona.
Verna is preceded in death by her husband, Arnold McNeal, sisters Helen (Richard) Kenney and Muriel (Gordon) Olson and brothers Don (Ardell) Meland and Wesley (Lenny) Meland and granddaughter, Kelli McNeal. Surviving family include sister June (Gayle) Tangen and brothers Noren (Audrey) Meland, Reuben (Aldene) Meland; Her children Kris (Allen) Nesteby and Kevin
(Marlene) McNeal; Grandchildren Chad (Serena) Nesteby, Andrea Nesteby, Kyle Nesteby,
Kevin (Mikki) McNeal and Kara McNeal. Great-grandchildren Jacqueline Nesteby, Shyanne Lacy, James Lacy, Jr., Gabriel Barba McNeal, Krystal Dixon, Callista Dixon, Paul Dixon, Leah McNeal and Landan McNeal.
Verna enjoyed playing golf, sewing and quilting, making stain-glass angels, water-color and oil painting and spending time with friends and family. She also had a reputation for frying excellent walleye at the family cabin. She had a sense of humor that would bring smiles to everyone she encountered. Verna was deeply loved and will be forever missed.
Graveside services will be held on the spring/summer of 2021. Online guest book at: www.helgesonfuneralhome.com