Melinda Dawn Bennewitz, 62, of Spooner passed away on February 7, 2021, at Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire, after a long battle with kidney disease and cancer.
She was born on May 14, 1958, in Rice Lake, the daughter of Nicholas (Nick) and Ethel Mae (Babe) Merth. She grew up in Prairie Farm and took an early liking to horses and had a special place in her heart for them. She was an active member of the local horse club there. She attended Prairie Farm Schools and graduated from Prairie Farm High School with the Class of 1978 with “Panther Pride.”
Melinda went straight from graduating high school to working the next 22 years at McCain Foods in Rice Lake, as a packager/janitor; she never missed one day of work in 22 years of her employment with McCain Foods. Melinda also worked in housekeeping at Aqua Vista Motel in Shell Lake, Shell Lake Nursing Home, St. Croix Casino concession stand in Turtle Lake, and the Walmart deli in Rice Lake.
She was married on July 19, 1980, in Prairie Farm to her former husband, James (Jim) Bennewitz of Spooner.
Melinda had the most beautiful brown eyes and rememberable laugh. She loved to travel out west in her younger years and to play Yahtzee and Bingo with her mother at the nursing home. She loved the color purple, but she will be most remembered for her love of horses.
She is survived by her mother, Ethel Mae (Babe) Becker, Spooner; niece, Wendy (Chuck) Brown, Spooner; nephew, Nick (Pam) Helstern, Trego; two great-nieces, Desirae and Grace, and three great-nephews, Cody, Tom, and Josh; two great-great-nephews, William and Jack; step-brothers, Terry (Wanda) Becker and Gary (Judy) Becker; and step-sisters, Gale Zimbrick, Patricia (John) Erb, Rochelle (Al) Lentz, and Twyla (Mitch) Miller.
She was preceded in death by her father, Nicholas (Nick) Merth; her sister, Kathleen (Kathy) Wooden; and step-father, George Becker.
There will be a Celebration of Life graveside service at St. Ann’s Cemetery in Turtle Lake, late in the spring.
Honorary pall bearers are Nick Helstern, Chuck Brown, Cody Helstern, Tom Helstern, and Josh Brown.
Condolences can be sent to Wendy Brown, N5764 Cty. Hwy. K, Spooner, WI 54801.