June Marie Wells Blank, 80, a longtime Richland resident, died Nov. 6, 2001, at her home after a long battle with ovarian cancer.
Her graveside funeral was today at 3 p.m. at Eagle Valley Cemetery in Richland. Lowell Stidolph officiated.
Her loving sister and daughter took care of her for the past few years. She never complained, kept alert and sharp-minded, and she appreciated all of the kindness that both old and new friends showed her. Three years is a long time to be virtually helpless. She showed a strong will to hold it all together. Marie (as she was known) was buried next to her husband Earl.
Mrs. Blank was born June 14, 1921, in the small town of Heath, Idaho, up Brownlee Creek. She was living in Cambridge, Idaho, when the polio epidemic was raging throughout the country. Marie was six years old when she got the disease. She was taken to the Shriners Hospital in Portland when she was nine for treatment and an operation. It was not an easy trip back then. She was very brave and never complained. She stayed there for several months all by herself and always said they were wonderful to her. When she was able to go home, they even gave her a new dress.
Mrs. Blanks family moved to Eagle Valley in 1933. She attended the old Daly Creek School and graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 1940.
She attended nursing school and got top grades, but had to give it up as her legs were not strong enough.
She was married to Earl Blank on June 2, 1941.
Mrs. Blank enjoyed reading, sewing, tying knots, crocheting rag rugs, and being with her family. She loved to laugh and giggle and was known as “Ree Ree” by all of the kids who loved her. She was a quiet and shy lady, never a social butterfly, but she will be deeply missed by those who knew her.
She also made the best apple pies ever, and her crusts were gorgeous.
Mrs. Blank is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Earletta Marie and Steven Lee Baker of Portland; a granddaughter, Leslie Marie Cook, and her husband, Scott, and a great-grandson, Jeremy Cook, all of Kelso, Wash., a grandson, Travis Lee Baker and his wife, Christine, of Tucson, Ariz.; a sister, Billie Wells of Richland; nieces and nephews including Loretta Larkins of Richland, Diana Smith and her son, Coby Ryder, of Portland, Zona Ciochetti of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Davis Pollard and his children, Jessica and Logan of Lovelock, Nev.; many cousins who are very dear and close to her; and a special aunt, Fannie Blank.
Mrs. Blank was preceded in death by her parents, Harley and Maggie Wells; a five-year-old sister, Retha, and her husband, Earl, who died in 1981.
Contributions in Mrs. Blank’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Eagle Valley Ambulance Fund in care of Tami’s Pine Valley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 543, Halfway, OR 97834.
Used with permission from: The Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, November 9, 2001
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor