Juanita Fern (Beamish) Van Maren, 94, of Casper, Wyoming, died of natural causes on Nov. 4, 2018, at St. John’s Lutheran Ministries in Billings.
Funeral services will be at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Kathy Lillis Chapel on St. John’s campus in Billings. Burial will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, at Oregon Trail Veteran’s Cemetery in Casper.
Juanita was born in Alden, Iowa, on Sept. 28, 1924, the first of three daughters to Leon and Pauline (Feaker) Beamish. In 1946, she moved from Mason City, Iowa, to Casper to marry the love of her life, N.P. (Van) Van Maren. They were married on April 24, and celebrated their 72nd anniversary this year. She was devoted to her husband, and, as a loving and kind wife, mother, and homemaker, was an example to all who knew her.
She will long be remembered by her love of children — her own and the many she cared for during the years she babysat for working mothers. She encouraged children to use their talents and instilled a curiosity about the world in every child she knew.
Juanita taught herself how to cook and bake, excelling at making homemade Danish pastries, pies, and Parker House rolls. Dinners for special occasions were perfectly timed, with many different side dishes and lavish desserts.
Juanita’s grandchildren were the light of her life. She made sure there were freshly-baked cookies ready for them when they arrived for a visit and always had games to play with them — something they all remember!
Even in her later years, Juanita continued her lifelong habit of keeping a diary, writing down her everyday happenings and remembering her loved ones in it. Throughout her life, she was quick to express to others her gratitude for every small act of kindness.
Juanita is survived by her beloved husband, Paul; their seven children, Steven (Elizabeth) of Sandy, Utah, Susan (Larry) Shippy of Weston, WY, Barbara “Fern” Van Maren of Boise, ID, Cynthia Van Maren of Billings, David (Laurie) of Fort Collins, CO, Diane (Tim) Wilkinson of Spokane, WA, Nancy Van Maren (George Fink) of Billings, MT; 25 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; and two sisters.
She was preceded in death by one grandson, Keith Van Maren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Casper (Wyoming) Humane Society or the (Casper) St. Anthony School Foundation.