Aleta Blobaum, 90, of Urbana died peacefully on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016, at Carle Foundation Hospital, Urbana, with family by her side.
Aleta was born at the farm home of her parents, Adolph and Wilhelmina Feyerherm, near Beemer, Nebraska, on September 5, 1925. She attended Immanuel Lutheran Grade School, and graduated from high school in West Point, Nebraska. In 1946, she received her teaching certificate from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska, where she met her future husband, Duane Blobaum. Aleta taught kindergarten and first through third grades at Zion Lutheran School in Oakland, California, for one year, then returned to Nebraska to marry Duane on August 3, 1947, at Immanuel Lutheran Church near her childhood home.
Aleta is survived by daughters Colleen (Glenn) Berman of Urbana and Dawn (Jim Bartl) Blobaum of Davidson, NC; sons Rev. Gary (Amy) Blobaum of Sumter, SC, and Dean (Laurie Wardell) Blobaum of Beverly Shores, IN; grandchildren Ben Blobaum of Chicago, IL; Katie (Ben) Pieh of Montevideo, MN and their daughters, Hannah and Brenna; David (Lorraine) Blobaum of West Orange, NJ; Micah Berman of San Francisco, CA; Sam Blobaum of Baltimore, MD; Sarah Blobaum of Greencastle, IN; and Neal Bartl of Davidson, NC; sister Laverna Lambrecht of Lincoln, NE, and brother Orville (Olga) of West Point, NE, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Duane, her parents, one brother, one sister, and a dear 3‐month‐old infant son, Kevin.
From 1947 to 1949, Aleta taught first through fourth grades at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Utica, Nebraska, while Duane completed his MSW at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Following the path of Duane's career in Social Work, they moved to Minneapolis, suburban Chicago, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, finally landing in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in 1960. There Aleta’s extensive volunteer work complemented Duane’s work as Executive Director of Lutheran Family Service of Iowa. Aleta was director of volunteers for LFS, was actively involved at St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School in various roles, and was a foster parent to six girls with developmental delays who attended the Rehabilitation Workshop in Fort Dodge.
When they retired in 1984, Aleta and Duane moved to Douglas, Arizona, where Aleta enjoyed being a Laubach Literacy Tutor for local Latina women who were eager to learn English. She and Duane continued to be active in their church. They founded the Ladrillo Project, which brought volunteers from Iowa and elsewhere to build houses across the border in Agua Prieta, Mexico. Aleta also got to know the community through her role as a Welcome Wagon Hostess.
In 1993, Duane and Aleta moved to Joplin, Missouri, to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Aleta organized a library for Peace Lutheran Church and wrote many letters on behalf of Amnesty International. In 2005, they moved to Urbana, where they both could receive greater support from their children as Duane’s Alzheimer’s disease progressed. When Duane needed the care of the Champaign County Nursing home in 2008, Aleta faithfully visited him there every day, until his death on March 9, 2012. Aleta was grateful for all the help and caring concern from her children for her and Duane. Aleta worked tirelessly as a wife and mother, grew and weeded gardens, canned and preserved, sewed her children’s clothing, was a faithful tither at church and a soft touch for humanitarian causes. She was generous in spirit, ever an optimist about the thoughts and motives of others.
A memorial service for Aleta will be held at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 2200 South Philo Road, Urbana, on Saturday, April 2, 2016, at 2 p.m. Aleta’s family will be present at the church at 1:30 p.m. and also after the service. Additionally, a memorial service will be held at a later date in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in the Chapel at North Lawn Cemetery.
Heath and Vaughn Funeral Home, 201 N. Elm, Champaign, is assisting with arrangements.
Memorials may be made to St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Urbana; or to the Duane and Aleta Blobaum Family Scholarship Endowment at Concordia University Nebraska.
Condolences to the family may be offered online at www.HeathandVaughn.com.