The funeral service celebrating the life of Beverly “Bev” Savaloja of Wadena will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, November 29, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Wadena, with Pastor Jim Stoneman presiding. Visitation will be Tuesday, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the Johnson–Schuller Chapel in Wadena and at the church on Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service.
Bev, age 89, passed away on November 17, 2023, at the Lakewood Health System Care Center in Staples, MN. The staff at Lakewood along with Lakewood Health System Hospice provided loving care throughout Bev’s stay.
Beverly Lorraine Wohlert was born to Arthur and Elizabeth (Kresien) Wohlert on December 20, 1933, in Wadena, MN. She attended Wadena High School where she participated in choir and played bassoon, cymbals and was a drum majorette in the marching band. During her senior year of high school, she traveled with the Girl Scouts to Washington D.C.
When Bev was young, her family loved going to dances and listening to music. Bev learned to play piano and the organ which she played at the Evangelical and Reform church. From a young age and throughout her life, her family was her life.
Bev married the love of her life and best friend, Raymond C. Savaloja on June 26, 1954, at the Evangelical and Reform Church in Wadena. Bev travelled with Ray while he served in the Navy and they were stationed in San Diego and Long Beach, CA, before returning home and making their home in Wadena, where they raised their three sons.
In her “first” career Bev worked for 26 years at Northwestern Bell as a telephone operator, many of those years as Chief Operator, and was a part of the Telephone Pioneers Club. Bev would often go into work on holidays, such as Christmas Eve, to allow others to spend time with their families.
Bev’s “second” career was with the financial department at Wadena County Social Services. She finally retired (at the urging of her loving family!) at the young age of 76, after working 29 years at Wadena County.
Bev was an active member of her community. She and Ray were active members at the First Congregational United Church of Christ where she faithfully served in many capacities, including as auditor/bookkeeper, Sunday school teacher, serving on many committees, worked many Christmas Bazaars, rummage sales, and sang in the choir. Bev genuinely loved her church family. She was also involved with the VFW Auxiliary, Elks and Does Lodge, Girl Scouts, Royal Neighbors, American Cancer Society and served as an election judge for many years. Bev was also very involved in her class reunion committee and loved to see old friends and classmates.
Bev’s laugh was unmistakable and could be picked out, even across a crowded room! She and Ray loved to travel, whether to see family or just spend time with each other. They also enjoyed trips to the casino with their friends.
Bev possessed great perseverance! In later years, she lived with vision challenges, and survived breast and bladder cancer. Bev’s outlook on life was always positive. She would help anyone that needed help, even at her own expense. Her love for her family and people in general was a great inspiration.
Preceding Bev in death were her husband, Ray (2018); parents, Arthur and Elizabeth “Toots” Wohlert; brother, LaVern Wohlert; six brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law.
Forever remembering Bev will be her sons: Mike Savaloja of Boise, ID, Steve Savaloja of Verndale, and Dan (Maggie) Savaloja of Blaine; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law: Delores Wohlert, Patricia Savaloja and Shirley Savaloja; along with a host of other relatives, friends and neighbors.
Serving as casket bearers will be grandchildren: Bryan Savaloja, Rachel Savaloja, Trevor Savaloja, Tyler Savaloja, Wesley Savaloja, Mason Savaloja and Jesse Savaloja.
Burial will be in Wadena Cemetery in Wadena. Arrangements with the Schuller Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Services’ Johnson-Schuller Chapel, Wadena, MN (www.SchullerFamilyFH.com)11-22