Cover photo for Beverly J. Kruggel McCulley's Obituary
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1928 Beverly 2024

Beverly J. Kruggel McCulley

April 24, 1928 — May 25, 2024

Tempe, AZ

Beverly June Bednar Kruggel McCulley was a beloved daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend during her incredible 96 years of life. She passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 25th, 2024. 

She was born in Manly, Iowa on April 24, 1928 to loving parents Dell and Eva (Dilts) Bednar. She had older sisters, Ivadell and Maxine, and a younger brother, John. Although farm life was difficult, Bev found joy in the little things. One of her favorite memories was spending time with her dad with whom she loved so much. She took care of her younger brother and admired her older sisters. Raised on a farm, she often cooked for a large number of farmhands at harvest time. That love of cooking lasted throughout her life. Bev worked hard but she found time to do things for herself. Her love of music led her to study piano, play cornet in the school band, and sing in school and church choirs. She attended Manly High School and was on the varsity basketball team. She took odd jobs with neighbors caring for their children when she was barely a teenager herself. She admired the work it took to keep a farm going. Thinking back on her farm days, the only things she hated was being so cold during the winter, eating potatoes, which was a staple, and way too much of it, and eating chicken. She always said, “When you have to kill, puck, and cook the chicken, the taste isn’t the same.” 

During the 1940s, Bev worked as a waitress at a local diner. She walked miles from home to work and back again making money to help the family. Eventually, Bev began working for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company. She was featured as a trainer for the company in a photograph posted in the newspaper. She was so proud. 

She often went dancing with her friends at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. It was there that she met Kenneth Max Kruggel. Ken was tall, good looking and won the heart of Bev. They were married on August 11, 1948 and resided in Mason City, Iowa. Supporting her family was always in her nature. Her younger brother, John, spent several years living with them, too. 

The 1950s and 60s was a time when Bev’s family grew. Stanley Max, Claudia Joy, Greta Maxine and Hugh Eric completed their family. Extended family events included holiday get-togethers at the Manly Town Hall. It served as a great place for aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives, and friends to gather. Bev and family were active at St. James Lutheran Church. She volunteered in the nursery. Children were always important to her. 

Living with a backyard stream was always an adventure in the Kruggel House. Stanley’s love of animals kept Bev on her toes from runaway foxes to snakes in the house. Bev always found time to explore outside, visit with friends, and enjoy her surroundings…especially the corn fields surrounding their home. 

In the early 1970s, the family moved to Arizona to be closer to their son who was attending college and her brother who lived in California. Bev transferred to the branch Mountain Bell Telephone. When she retired, she was so proud that she made $18.00 per hour. At that time, it was a great sum. She confessed that she worked the 9pm until 3am shift so she could be home with her children during the day. She always talked about how she started working as a telephone operator in Iowa and made $26.00 a month. 

Bev and Ken also cared for their grandson Max for a time while their son Stan was attending the U. of A. They were featured in a Phoenix newspaper article about grandparents and grandchildren. They were so proud of that. Bev was active with King of Glory Lutheran Church, again volunteering in the nursery and library. 

After retiring from the telephone company, traveling across the country in a “Big Rig” was an adventure. Ken had been a policeman in Iowa and Phoenix, and they wanted to try something different. They purchased a semi truck and drove around the country for Bekins Furniture and Ruan. They would roam the US on shipping trips. Boy, the stories they had to tell about traveling and the people they would meet. 

In the 1980s, Ken and Bev purchased a daycare in Mesa, Az. The whole family worked many years running the daycare, making homemade meals, taking children on field trips, fishing at the local park, and sponsoring huge holiday productions where Bev would play the piano as the children sang dressed in holiday attire. 

After Ken’s passing in 1994, Bev worked for a local company where she would set up shop in grocery stores and give away samples of products. She actually loved it. She began her higher education at a local community college and she worked to improve herself. 

Soon after, she met her second husband, Elvin Lewis McCulley, through mutual friends. They had so much in common. Both were from Iowa but were living in Arizona. Elvin had been a Marine and so had Bev’s first husband, Ken. They enjoyed each other’s company and decided to marry on November 3, 1996. They would spend summers traveling back to Iowa, Kansas, and neighboring states, visiting family and friends. Bev had gained two stepchildren, Jeffery and Tammy, and her children Brandi, Cory, and Courtney. They had so much fun on summer vacations with them. 

Fast forward to retirement life and needing to do something else. As Bev’s grandchildren were born, she took on the role of babysitter for Helena Caroline, Hannah Kendell, and Mollie Sophia. She loved it so much that she began babysitting children of teachers at her daughter’s school. She began her career as the Connolly Babysitter. She loved creating crafts and playing with the children. In addition, she always had time to bake a pie, cookies, or cake to send home with the children. Bev was someone you could count on. She had no judgment (usually), no stress, just warmth and love. Bev was and will always be a feeling of home. 

Bev was preceded in death by her parents Eva and Dell Bednar, daughter Claudia Joy, first husband Kenneth Kruggel and her second husband Elvin McCulley, sisters Ivadell Bednar Quandt and Maxine Bednar Allen, in-laws Max Kruggel and Clara Overbeck Kruggel, sisters-in-law Irene Kruggel Lundt and Ruth Kruggel, brothers-in-law Harvey Quandt and William S. Allen, niece Linda Kay Allen Nelson, nephews Evan Bednar, Byron Quandt, Harvey D. Quandt. 

Families that will hold her memories and stories moving forward include brother, John (Francie), son, Stanley Max (Judith), daughter, Greta Maxine, and son, Hugh Eric. Grandchildren, Max, Ian, Helena, Hannah, and Mollie. Great grandchildren, Tyler (Christine), Tiffany, and Jacob. Great-great grandchildren, Kylie, Andrew, Emma, and Kayden. Niece, Brenda Eicher. Stepchildren, Jeffery McCulley and Tammy Martin and her children Brandi, Cory, and Courtney. 

We will remember Bev for her loving nature, her playfulness, and her occasional, endearing stubbornness. She doted on her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren. A minute couldn’t be spent with her without her telling us how much she loved us and loved cooking for us. Everytime you walked in the house, Bev would say, “Let me make you something to eat.” 

Bev was a loyal and devoted friend to so many. She was quick to offer a meal, a bed, or a supportive ear whenever the need arose. She was so happy anytime friends or family dropped in for a few minutes or a few days. 

Bev’s family is deeply grateful for the loving, kind, and compassionate care provided by Hospice of the Valley. Their support during Bev’s difficult times was invaluable and will always be remembered. In addition, visits from neighbors and friends, and especially Paul and Jill Reuter and Lorinda Erb. 

We will miss Bev dearly, but we are so grateful for the time we had to spend with her. We will always feel her presence in our hearts. May Bev rest in eternal peace and be remembered for the love, light, and laughter she brought into the lives of others. 

A funeral service will be held on Friday, May 30, 2024 at 5:00 (visitation at 4:00). It will be held at Tempe Mortuary, 405 E Southern Ave., Tempe, Az. 

A graveside service will be in Mason City on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at 11:00 am. It will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery, 11495 265th St., Mason City, Ia.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Beverly J. Kruggel McCulley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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