Delorys "Dee" Elaine McFarland Blume of Flagstaff, AZ died peacefully on May 9, 2014. She was 85. Dee was born on April 26, 1929 in Cambridge, Ohio to Thelma Grace and Russell McFarland. Inspired by her third-grade teacher, Dee decided at a young age to be a teacher herself, a passion she would pursue throughout her life. She was the first person in her family to attend college, earning a scholarship to The Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, Dee met and married Robert A. Blume, a fellow educator, who passed away in 2005. Dee taught elementary school in the Detroit, Michigan area, in Mogadishu, Somalia, and in Gainesville, Florida. When her children were in high school, Dee pursued an E.D.S in Counselor Education and an E.D.D. in early childhood education from the University of Florida. She went on to be a professor in the Educational Foundations Department at the University of Central Florida. The students and faculty of UCF recognized Dr. Blume with the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1990. In 1997, Cambridge High School entered Dee into its Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. Dee valued most in life her family, connecting with community and delighting in beauty and nature. As a great-aunt and grandmother, Dee nurtured intellectual curiosity and literacy in the next generation, she was known for sending books and creative writing materials to the children in the family. After retiring from UCF, Dee became an avid volunteer: she served on numerous committees with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Ormond Beach, Florida; as a Guardian Ad Litem, advocating for children within the Volusia County Courts; as a member of the Board of Directors for the Family Renew Community to alleviate homelessness; and on early mornings patrolled the beach-front for sea turtle nests to mark and protect the eggs. She was particularly proud of walking precincts in Florida to help elect President Barack Obama in 2008. After moving to Flagstaff in 2010, Dee continued to volunteer reading to children at the Flagstaff Family Food Center. She loved watching the birds in the trees behind her home, outings with the neighbors, eating at favorite restaurants, visiting with friends, children, and all the bustle of Flagstaff. Most especially she treasured her granddaughter Ellie, her best friend Tweet Otterstein and being Grandma Dee to Demitrius Archuleta Willis. Dee ended her journey as she had lived it, spending the final weeks of her life in her Bungalow at the Peaks, surrounded by family, friends, and the beauty of spring. Dee is survived by two daughters and their families: Kerry Blume and her wife Lucinda Andreani, of Flagstaff; and their daughter, Eleanor Blume and her partner Samuel Houshower, of Washington, DC; and Stephanie Blume and her husband Adam Hartmann, of Gainesville, FL.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on June 8, 2014