Betty Alice Donahue Blomquist, formerly of Paris Crossing, Indiana, died on May 4, 2019, in Lexington, Kentucky. She was born on May 28, 1921, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the first child of John C. Donahue, Jr, and Gertrude Marion Wilkins Donahue. She was preceded in death by her husband, Orlo Blomquist, in 2000. She is survived by her younger sister, Shirley Teachenor (Ventura, California), three children, nine grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren.
Betty lived in the same neighborhood in south Minneapolis as Orlo. Romantic interest developed when they were members of the church choir at Epworth Methodist Episcopal Church. They were married there on June 15, 1943 and honeymooned on their Harley-Davidson.
Betty graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1944 with bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and Education. She volunteered with the American Red Cross and other organizations until her children graduated from high school. The return to active nursing was challenging, but she worked in Ohio, California, and Indiana. She was on the staff of Jennings Community Hospital in North Vernon, Indiana, when it opened in 1974, and in the next six years served as Director of Education and interim Director of Nursing. She retired from nursing in 1984 and then was a substitute teacher in the North Vernon junior high school for several years.
Above all was her love for her family. She shared many special moments with her children Glenn Blomquist (Lexington, Kentucky), Steven Blomquist (Lawrence, Kansas), and Laura Corkum (Goshen, Kentucky), grandchildren (Erik, Sean, Brian, Greg, Lisa, Sarah, Ashton, Peter, and Spencer) and great grandchildren. Exchange student Ulla and her husband Olli Tuuri (Vaasa, Finland) and their sons, Jussi and Antti, were an added joy that began in 1967 when Ulla lived with Betty, Orlo, and Laura for a school year.
Letter-writing, reading, crafts (especially red-heeled sock monkeys), memory books of genealogy, family farm history, family events, and supporting Orlo’s running activities were among her many interests. She was a Cub Scout leader which promoted her love of art and making things. Birds were always an interest. The Indiana farm had birdfeeders that attracted hummingbirds and a variety of other colorful birds. In Lexington, she designed birdhouses for the annual birdhouse display at the Lexington Arboretum.
Church activities were vital in her life until late years when Betty was mainly a prayer warrior. Betty was president of the Baker Memorial Church Women’s Society of Christian Service and the Christian Mission in Asia Ladies’ circle in St. Charles, Illinois, where she developed a love of cultures around the world. Betty and Orlo joined First United Methodist Church of North Vernon when they moved to Indiana in 1973. After Orlo’s death, Betty moved to Kentucky and attended Second Presbyterian Church in Lexington.
A memorial service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky on Saturday, June 8 at 11:00 A.M. An informal graveside service will be held in the Vernon Cemetery in Vernon, Indiana, on Sunday, June 9 at 1:00 P.M.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Lexington Arboretum - State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, First United Methodist Church of North Vernon, Indiana, or Second Presbyterian Church, Lexington, Kentucky.
Dove-Sharp & Rudicel Funeral Home and Cremation Service in North Vernon, Indiana were entrusted with the local arrangements.