Daily Journal staff reports
SAINT ANNE — The family of a Saint Anne native is trying to ensure the coronavirus doesn’t ruin the 100-year-old’s birthday.
Born in Saint Anne on April 20, 1920, Melva M. Schultetus spent more than 50 years in Kankakee County before retiring with her husband, Cletus, to Florida. Her husband died in 2009 and she now resides at Westminster Oaks Community, an assisted-living facility in Tallahassee, Fla. Her family was planning a birthday celebration but was forced to cancel their plans when the facility shut down visitation in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Now, her son, Layne Schultetus, is reaching out to the Saint Anne and surrounding communities to help his family wish her a happy birthday when they can’t be there to do it themselves.
In an email to the Daily Journal, Layne Schultetus asked that any area residents who remember his mother send her a birthday card.
He included some details about her time here in Kankakee County. The daughter of Raymond and Mable Sprimont, Melva grew up in St. Anne and is the last surviving member of the Saint Anne High School Class of 1938. She married Cletus V. Schultetus in March 1940. While her husband served as a pilot in World War II, Melva worked at the Bear Brand Hosiery Corporation in Kankakee supporting the war effort by making parachutes.
After the war, she and her husband founded and operated the St. Anne Floral Shop and Greenhouses from 1949 to 1973. She also drove a school bus for the Cardinal Bus Line in the St. Anne School District for 30 years.
She is a 70-year member of Kankakee Order of the Eastern Star and a lifelong Presbyterian who served St. Anne Presbyterian Church in many capacities.
She has two sons, Raymond Schultetus and Cpl. Layne Schultetus (retired); two grandchildren, Stephen Schultetus (wife Pam), of Tallahassee, and Allison L. Tarnow (husband Raymond), of Portage, Ind.; and five great-grandchildren.
Those wishing to send a card should address it to Melva M. Schultetus c/o Westminster Oaks Community, 4999 Meandering Way, Perry Center Room #331, Tallahassee, FL 32308.