Saturday, December 12, 2009

Great Grandma's Obituary

I am glad I found the following online. I got a copy of this today and it is a pretty long one to type all out.

September 28, 1907
December 2, 2009

A descendent of two of the early pioneer families of Clallam and Jefferson counties, Vivian "Riley" Blake, the eldest of six children born to Zora May Riley and Don Joseph Carlos Cramer, died at 102 of age-related causes.

She married at 16 to Gustave Stange of Pysht. They had two daughters, Mildred Theodora and Beverly June. The marriage later ended in divorce.

When Mildred, her first daughter, started school at Clallam Bay, Vivian looked into finishing her education, too.

In those days, it was hard to convince the School Board that a married woman should return to school. Hazel K. Murray, who was the principal at the time, thought differently, and made it happen.

Vivian graduated from Clallam Bay High School in 1933, and considered it one of her proudest accomplishments.

World War II found many leaving the farm and heading for work in Seattle shipyards. "Rosie the Riveters" were needed for the war effort, so Vivian entered a new aspect of her life, and became "Riley the Welder."

Later, she became the head of cashiers for Group Health Cooperative for 10 years, then office manager for the electricians' IBEW Union for another 10, and lastly worked as secretary at the Capitol for state Representatives Bob Perry of the 45th District and Paul Conner of Port Angeles.

In 1944, Riley married Aubrey "Red" Blake, and they had one daughter, Cheryl Lynn. They celebrated 54 years together before his passing in 1999.

Red and Riley didn't let the dust collect under their feet after retirement. They first retired to their home on Lake Loma in Marysville, Washington, then to Sheridan, Montana, to be near their daughter, Cheryl, and her family.

After Cheryl's passing, they moved back to Seattle.

Always the "snowbirds," they lived in Arizona and Southern California, traveled to Mexico, Hawaii and the Bahamas -- anywhere with warm winter weather.

The Blakes moved to Port Angeles in 1997 and resided at Park View Villa.

Riley says her finest memories are the great times she has shared with her family and many friends. She contributed her ­longevity to good genes and a full active life, taking the good with the bad.

"If you don't have good memories, you have nothing." she said.

She is survived by daughter and son-in-law Mildred and Larry McQueen of Oregon and daughter and son-in-law Beverly and Earl Hamilton of Port Angeles.

Also surviving her are eight grandchildren, Vivian Browne, John Hamilton, Debbie Alexander, Darby Ragghianti, Bertina Ody, Carol Hamilton, Blake Carey and Reece Carey.

She also has 12 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by husband Aubrey; daughter Cheryl Carey and great-granddaughter Haley Hamilton.

Vivian and Aubrey will be laid to rest side by side in Curlew Cemetery, Curlew, Washington. Father George Morbeck of Immaculate Conception Church, Republic, Washington, will officiate at the graveside services. The family will gather and exchange their warm and loving memories of both "Red" and "Riley."

The family wishes to express their thanks to their Mother's and Grandmother's extended family at Park View Villa, and her caregivers, Sandy and Kim.


Alice said...

I love reading people's life stories. Imagine a 54 year second marriage! Your great grandma sounds like she was pretty amazing. I'm sorry for your loss.

affectioknit said...

I'm so sorry you lost your great grandma...