A Visitation for Bert Harlow, 82, of Melcher-Dallas, Iowa will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2022, from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Melcher-Dallas. A private burial will be held at the Bauer Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the family to be designated at a later date.
Bertha I. Harlow was born on August 11, 1940, to Harry and Marie (Verwers) See in Marion County, Iowa. Being the oldest of 7 children, Bert learned at an early age to care for others and becoming very close to her family. This continued throughout her life as a wonderful, caring mother and later to a loving, nurturing grandmother. The family would agree that she was their “safe place.” She naturally gave them that warm, loving acceptance.
Bert grew up in the Marion County area. She attended Dallas High School before the Melcher and Dallas schools consolidated. She enjoyed playing basketball during high school.
Bert met the love of her life, Clarence Harlow, and the two wed on October 25, 1958, at the Catholic Church in Melcher when Bert was only 18. They were blessed with three children: Tony, Trease, and Bernie. The couple raised their family in Melcher-Dallas.
Bert worked in some sewing factories in Marion County and Des Moines for a few years. From 1974 until her retirement in 2002, she worked for 3M. She started as a Rewind Operator and later was a Custodian. She made many wonderful friends through her years there. When she was working as a Custodian and her daughter and granddaughter also worked there, she would check in on them to make sure they didn’t cut off any fingers and to make sure they had food to eat on break.
Bert didn’t just make sure the girls were fed at work, she made sure everybody who stopped by was fed. If you went hungry when you were at Bert’s, well that was your own fault.
Bert loved her family dearly. Her children felt very blessed to have her and Clarence as their parents and to grow up in such a loving home. This continued with the grandchildren. She loved them all fiercely. She definitely left a loving impact on all of them.
Bert didn’t just make sure her family was taken care of by always feeding them, she also would give them money periodically just because or to pay them back for an errand. Naturally, they didn’t want her to pay them, but she was a sly fox, hiding the money in their purse, bag, car, or wherever. It was her way of making sure they took it. However, the kids said sometimes they would give it back to her by stashing it somewhere in the house when they came back to see her. She and Clarence once took a trip to California. She told the kids she had money stashed in different parts of the vehicle in case they needed it on the trip. She made sure the kids knew this in case something happened.
Bert was always generous in so many ways. The family remembers how she would wrap their Christmas gifts in dollar bills. That way they got a gift and some cash.
Even when Bert knew she was nearing the end of her life on earth, she had a sense of humor and remained positive. Bernie said once they knew it was a matter of time, she was holding her mother’s hand and was sniffling a bit, thinking her mother was asleep. She felt Bert squeeze her hand, so when she turned to her and asked if something was wrong, Bert said, “Buck up and put your big girl pants on. Everything will be ok.” She was at peace with everything and was more than ready to see her husband who she had missed dearly since his passing in 2010.
Bert will be dearly missed by her children: Tony Harlow, Terri (Gary) Oringderff, and Bernie Dawson; grandchildren: Chrissi Ripperger, Valen Burns, Danielle Menter, Connor Dawson, and Taylor Oringderff; great grandchildren: Essence, Tayvian, Cooper, Lillie, Tipton, Hattie, Josie, and twins on the way; and siblings: Shirley Bingham, Nancy (Charles) Harlow, and Richard (Kate) See.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Marie; husband, Clarence; brothers: Ronnie, Ralph, and Rick; and an infant sister.
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