She was born on Feb. 8, 1930, in Elder, Colo., the daughter of Boyd and Marian (Bosley) Beeney. She graduated from Erie High School in Kansas.
She married Harold Buford Van Cleave on Sept. 25, 1951. Together they had four children, Lanus, Marcia, Connie and Michael.
Erma lived for more than 40 years in Warrensburg, Mo., where she and Harold were longtime members of the First United Methodist Church. She was a devoted mother, wife and friend to many. Erma was an energetic member of the community and enjoyed participating in many clubs and activities, including the Pioneer Garden Club and working at the UCM Bookstore. For the last several years, Erma and Harold have resided in the south St. Louis area to be close to family members.
She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Central Missouri State College. She taught home economics in the Deepwater/Lakeland School District south of Clinton, Mo., for more than 10 years. She thoroughly enjoyed instructing and mentoring her students, sharing countless fond memories of her teaching days and keeping in touch with many students even up to her death.
She also loved to travel with her family and friends, visiting many places within the United States and other parts of the world. After retirement, she and Harold became active members of the Truman RV Camping Club and continued their passion for travel.
Survivors include her loving husband of more than 59 years, Harold Van Cleave; two daughters, Lanus Setser and husband, David, of Peculiar, Mo., and Connie Freeman and husband, Roger, of High Ridge, Mo.; a son, Michael Van Cleave and wife, Laurie, of St. Louis; grandchildren, Nicole Williams and husband, Jason, of Maryland Heights, Mo., Amanda Setser of Evansville, Ind., Braden Young of Imperial, Mo., Blake Young of High Ridge, Mo., Jessica, Elizabeth and Christopher Van Cleave of St. Louis; a great-grandson, Dagon Williams of Maryland Heights, Mo.; a brother-in-law, Kenneth Van Cleave Jr. and wife, Verna, of Galesburg; as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by a dear daughter, Marcia Carlton; a sister, Flora; and a brother-in-law, Charles Klenklen.
A celebration of life will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 23, at the First United Methodist Church in Warrensburg, Mo. A family visitation will follow the ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for the First United Methodist Church Building Fund, 141 E. Gay Street, Warrensburg, Mo., 64093.
Kutis Funeral Home of St. Louis handled some arrangements.