Bea Klemme

December 9, 1926October 5, 2020

Catherine Bernice “Bea" (Mentel) Klemme, 93, passed away on Monday, October 5, 2020, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, IL.

Born in 1926 in Nashville, Illinois, the daughter of Bert and Sadie Mentel, Bea married the love of her life, Roland “Rollie” V. Klemme on June 18, 1948 and became his devoted wife and unwavering partner for almost 67 years. Rollie preceded her in death on March 19, 2015.

Bea is survived by her three daughters, Cheryl “Cheri” Klemme of Grayslake, Illinois, Bonnie Klemme (John Auker) of Germantown, Tennessee, Lynn Klemme (Jim Davis) of Fountain Inn, South Carolina, and son, Michael Roland Klemme of St. Louis, Missouri; two grandchildren, Jeffrey Auker (Mariella) of Southaven, Mississippi, and Jessica Auker of Tampa, Florida; one great grandchild, Christian; a sister, Mary Ann Wellner (Clete); brother, David Mentel; sister-in-law, Dolores Dill along with numerous nieces, nephews and extended family and friends. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Henry Mentel and Paul Edward Mentel.

Bea taught school in her early years and worked as a homemaker while raising her four children. She was an active member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Belleville, IL for 54 years where she served as a Eucharistic Minister, and worked with her husband in feeding the hungry at Belleville Christian Center for many years. Bea loved to cook and entertain and enjoyed dancing with Rollie every chance she could get. She was an avid card player for over 75 years – Bridge being her passion.

Bea also loved dolls which began her labor of love in her Outreach Program (beginning in 1993) of collecting and buying dolls to make sure every child (who might not have received one at Christmas) would have a doll to hug. Bea, and her loyal supporters of many years, would start as soon as the Christmas season ended buying dolls on sale or heading to garage sales looking for dolls of every shape and size to make them “like new” again. Bea would store the dolls (sometimes several hundred) at her home until they were ready for their holiday delivery.

Bea left her family a legacy of love, respect, leadership and independence. For her daughters and son she was their touchstone and best friend.

A celebration of Bea’s life will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to Belleville Christian Center (Feed the Hungry) Belleville, IL.

The family wishes to send a special thank you to the staff at Dammert Geriatric Care Center (The Esquiline at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine), Belleville, IL for their loving care.

Condolences may be expressed at:


  • Online Only Livestream Inurnment

    Monday, April 12, 2021



Bea Klemme

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mary Pasbrig

October 11, 2020

I met Bea after my mother moved to The Esquiline. I went to have lunch with Mom every Wednesday and she and Bea shared the same table. We shared many conversations and it was obvious....Bea was a "character". Mom and I will miss her. God bless her and th entire family.

Cathy Crutcher

October 9, 2020

Bea was a very sweet lady. I remember her best singing with me in the lounge. She loved music and talking about trips to Vegas with her mom and seeing the performers. She will be missed.