"Concerned with the General Welfare of the Deaf of Iowa"

Upated June 7, 2023

Anita K. (Kehman) Beery

October 27, 1944 – May 24, 2022


Anita Katherine (Lehman) Beery, 77, of Longmont, Colorado passed away peacefully at home at 6:42am on May 24, 2022, after a 3 year battle with cancer. While we are feeling much sorrow at this time, we take comfort in knowing that she is at peace and reunited with her parents in the loving embrace of our Heavenly Father.

Anita is pre-deceased by her parents, R. Marvin and Doris E. Branstad Lehman and Sue, a cherished sister in law.

Left to cherish her memory are her loving husband of 42 years, LaWayne Melvin Beery, and their blended family of 8 children: Anita’s sons Robert Hutchens and Cary (Jessica) Hutchens and LaWayne’s children, Molly (Joseph) Wilson, Fred (SueAnn) Beery, Calvin (Anastasia) Beery, Kendall (Alison) Beery, Sheila Beery and Cathy (Robert) Graffuis. Together they shared 32 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and 3 generations of nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her 4 siblings Delores (Andre) Thorson, Cheryl (Claude) Oleyar, Robert M Lehman, Jr., and Lois (Robert) Lenderman, and her last living uncle, Glenn Branstad, age 90.

Anita was born October 27, 1944 in Buffalo Center, Iowa. She was raised on the Lehman family farm in Thompson, Iowa. She attended the Iowa School for the Deaf (ISD) in Council Bluffs, where she was very active in student and government life. She was ISD’s Homecoming Queen during her senior year (1963). In high school she started doing Linotype printing, which led her to enroll upon graduation at the Nettleson Boyles VanSant business college in Omaha. For the majority of her career she worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Denver as an office clerk for 20 years. Afterwards, she worked as a secretary for the Applewood Baptist church in Wheat Ridge, CO and then for First Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA – after which she retired. In 2016 they moved back to Colorado to be closer to her boys.

A year and a half after leaving their first marriages, Anita and LaWayne met and it was love at first sight. Two months after meeting, they knew they were meant for each other. LaWayne has always praised God for Anita’s kindness and patience in helping to raise their combined children, especially since several of them were entering the rebellious teen years at the time.

Anita loved traveling all over the country with LaWayne. Their most treasured travel destinations were Hawaii, the Black Hills (South Dakota) and Wildwood, NJ. They loved visiting historical sites, landmarks and museums wherever they traveled such as George Washington’s home (Mount Vernon), Pearl Harbor, the National Mall, communal dinners in Amish country and more. With so many children spread out from coast to coast, they tried to visit as often as they could, taking in the sights along the way. She mourned the passing of their dear miniature schnauzer Jeff, in 1995, a constant travel and home companion. We hope that he is curled up on her lap forevermore.

As a woman who is Deaf, and who married into a large multigenerational Deaf family, Deaf culture was a cherished part of her identity and way of life. Anita has always been a pillar of the deaf community, just as she was for her younger sister, Lois (also deaf) as she as growing up. She was always actively involved and well loved in Deaf clubs and Deaf churches wherever she lived.

In her final days, Anita held LaWayne’s hand, looked deep into his eyes and expressed her love for him. She shared that she was ready to go home. She said she saw Jesus waiting by the door for her. She apologized for causing sadness, but expressed her love for everyone in her life. We share this in the hope that it provides a measure of comfort for loved ones.

A Memorial Service will be held for Anita on Friday, June 3, 2022 at 11:00am at Ahlberg Funeral Chapel in Longmont, with a reception to follow. If you wish to send flowers, Longmont Florist is recommended. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy are appreciated and may be shared at for the Beery Family.