Elma C. Menius died March 25, 2020 at the age of 98, at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home. She was born in 1921 to Charlie Chapman and Lillie Mae Koontz in Salisbury, NC where she grew up with her older brother Marvin and sister Hessie (Cress). She spoke of her parents with great affection and enjoyed the small grocery that her father owned when she was a child during the Great Depression. She married her high school sweetheart Richard (Dick) B. Menius on June 21, 1940 and they celebrated 59 years of marriage before his death in 1999. She liked to joke that they were married on the longest day and shortest night of the year, the summer solstice. Her quick wit and wry humor were a hallmark of her life and enjoyed by all.
During WWII she traveled to Deming, New Mexico to work at the military base where Dick was stationed before he went overseas as a member of the Army Air Corps. After the war they began a family in Charlotte, NC before briefly returning to Salisbury and moving to Winston-Salem in 1957. They became active members of the First Presbyterian Church and various civic groups while raising three children. She enjoyed entertaining and supporting her husband’s career at Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo) often hosting large gatherings at their home. She was an excellent cook and enjoyed baking, especially her signature caramel cake and black walnut cookies which others often requested. Elma and Dick enjoyed traveling extensively throughout the US and were especially fond of Hawaii and the Southwest where they were interested in Native American culture and became friends with a Navajo family that later visited them in Winston-Salem during their first trip away from the reservation. After Dick retired, they spent much of their time at their cabin in the Virginia mountains entertaining friends, gardening, and enjoying the wildlife.
Elma enjoyed golf for many years and was an avid bridge player throughout her life. Until her mid-90’s, she enjoyed playing weekly with her many friends at the Kernersville Senior Center. She was a skilled seamstress who often created her own designs and patterns. For many years she did alterations and original clothing for a wedding boutique in Reynolda Village. As her reputation grew, she was sought by many young brides who wanted an heirloom dress altered or a custom wedding dress and bridesmaids’ dresses that sometimes numbered ten or more. She enjoyed getting to know the brides and bridesmaids, creating custom dresses and headpieces. She was a lifetime member of the Garden Study Club, the second oldest garden club in North Carolina, and especially enjoyed wildflowers. She was instrumental over the years in the Club’s scholarship fund at Forsyth Tech and eventually establishing an endowment for student grants.
Elma is predeceased by her husband and her son, Richard (Rick) B. Menius, Jr. She is survived by daughters, Jeanie Penland of Raleigh, NC and Pam Maynard of Lawrenceville, GA; grandchildren Adele Myers Reingold (Jay) and Neil Myers (Carrie), and four great-grandchildren. A service will be held at a later date to honor and celebrate her life and she will be buried next to her beloved husband at the National Cemetery in Salisbury, NC.

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