Mrs. Delos (Genevieve) Melius, Faulkton, South Dakota, was honored in 1974 as Eminent Homemaker by the Board of Regents and South Dakota State University.
Mrs. Melius, 53, has been an effective community and 4-H leader, raised four children, and has been an active farmer’s wife and helpmate despite suffering from multiple sclerosis for 20 years.
She has been active in Extension all her life. During her 4-H years, Mrs. Melius won many state 4-H awards and served as county president. She was a state and national winner in farm and home accounting and went to Chicago as a foods judge. She is a charter member of the Domesti-Kates Extension Homemakers Club and has held most of the club’s offices.
Mrs. Melius, who had MS symptoms even as a child, was given little hope in 1954 when the disease was finally diagnosed. Doctors told her she would be confined to a wheelchair within a year. But she’s owned a wheelchair just the past three years, only because she broke her hip. Now she uses the chair merely to transport objects about the house, or for occasions demanding prolonged exertion.
The Melius home was designed by her to accommodate the possibility of a wheelchair.
She currently serves on the South Dakota Multiple Sclerosis Board of Directors, and is county chairwoman of the annual MS drive. She has been appointed by the governor to the Ambassadors for South Dakota, an informal goodwill organization for the state.
Community affairs are important to both Mr. and Mrs. Melius. They contributed both time and money towards school consolidation for their township. “It wasn’t a very popular cause. But I decided that my children were going to have a good education and extra benefits like music that weren’t available in our country school.”