Melissa Renee Landsness Maynes was born October 8, 1964 at Storm Lake, Iowa and died December 1, 2014 at University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska of complications related to polycythemia-vera, a genetic blood clotting disorder. Melissa was the daughter of Martha Torkelson Landsness and Leroy Landsness and the granddaughter of Christopher and Ethel Torkelson of Sioux Rapids, Iowa. In 1978, Jerry Burkhart joined the family and became Melissa’s step-father for 19-years. Melissa grew up around in the Sioux Rapids area and graduated from Sioux Rapids-Rembrandt High School in 1982. She played softball, volleyball and basketball, was a member of the band. After high school, she attended Buena Vista College playing softball her freshman year a team that went to the Division III National Championships. She also played volleyball for four years. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Physical Education in 1986.
Her first teaching job was at East Union Schools in Afton, Iowa, teaching remedial reading, remedial math, physical education and coaching volley ball. She taught there for four years. While teaching she met Arnold Maynes from Lenox, Iowa at the weekly Taco night gathering at the Windrow Restaurant in Creston. They dated for nearly a year before being married on December 23, 1989 at the First United Methodist Church in Sioux Rapids, Iowa.
They began their married life at a farm near Cromwell, Iowa. Over the years, Melissa worked at SWCC in the Learning Resource Center, was a substitute teacher, coached volleyball at the Lenox High School 1998 season, took some graduate classes at Northwest Missouri State University, and most recently was the Executive Secretary for the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee. Melissa was President of the Adams County Farm Bureau for ten years.
They moved to the farm southeast of Corning in 1998. Melissa and Arnold were blessed with two children. Evan was born on December 14, 1992 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. Sydney was born on January 29, 1996, also at Iowa Methodist.
Melissa’s most favorite occupation was being a mom and attending her children’s activities. In junior high and high school, Evan and Sydney participated in musicals, plays, band concerts, athletic events, and 4-H activities and Melissa never missed an event.
Melissa was baptized and confirmed at First United Methodist Church in Sioux Rapids. She and Arnold joined the Cromwell Congregational Church after they were married and joined the Presbyterian Church in Corning in 2006.
Melissa is survived by her husband Arnold Maynes of Corning, their son Evan and his girlfriend, Samantha Borland of Corning, daughter Sydney of Maryville, Missouri, her mother, Martha Landsness of Sioux Rapids, Iowa, sister Laurie Besco and her husband Justin of Osceola, step-brother Clayton Burkhart and his wife Lori of Trenton, Missouri , step-sister Josie Johnston and her husband, Michael of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She is also survived by her mother-in-law, Gwen Maynes of Lenox, sisters-in-law Kim Brantner (Pete) of Lenox, Karen Downing (Steve) of Creston, Iowa, brothers-in-law Paul Maynes (Marcia) of Lenox, and Lyle Maynes (Bobbi) of Corning. Nephews and nieces include: Abe Schweers of Lenox, Susan Kastilhan (Danny) of Chicago, Illinois, Lindsay Stoaks (Shane) of Lenox, Becky Bissell (Kolby) of Corning, Michelle Maynes of Des Moines, Monty Maynes of Ames, Landon Maynes of Ames, Kennedi Maynes of Ames, Kysa Downing of Ames, Chisum Downing of Creston, Chase Maynes of Ankeny, Heath Downing of Creston, Caden Burkhart of Trenton, MO and Alix Burkhart of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. And Honorary Daughter, Marie Palmer of Corning.