Evelyn Dittman Wellman Blais, 91, of Holly Hill and Deland, peacefully lost her courageous battle with cancer on September 3 surrounded by loved ones. Evelyn was born in Daytona Beach on May 12, 1922 to Frank and Nena (Selover) Dittman. She attended South Ridgewood Elementa
ry and Mainland Junior and
Senior High Schools, graduating in 1939. While in
school, Evelyn was a member of the National Honor Society, the Girl Reserves of the Y.W.C.A., and was president of the Da-Y club. She was also selected by the faculty to deliver a speech on the "National Defense Against Indifference to the Ideals of Democracy." Upon graduation, Evelyn attended Mary Karl Opportunity School (now Daytona State College), where she joined the Business Girls' League of the Y.W.C.A., serving two terms as president and many years as a board member. She also began a lifetime of volunteer service with work for the United Fund and the March of Dimes. In 1943 Evelyn joined the Palmetto Club Juniors, serving as president from 1947-49. She remained active until 1951 when she moved to Indianapolis, Indiana with her new husband Raymond Wellman, whom she had met on a blind date. Evelyn and Ray returned in 1956 and bought a home in Holly Hill which Evelyn still maintains. In 1957 Evelyn joined the Palmetto Club and on September 9, 2012, was made honorary president of the club during Evelyn Wellman Blais Day, honoring her 55 years of service. During that time, she held many elected offices and chairmanships, was the club's nominee for Halifax Area Woman of the year and was recognized by the General Federation of Women's Clubs as a 50 year member in 2007. Perhaps her greatest accomplishment happened in 1970 when the Palmetto Club burned down. Evelyn was instrumental in salvaging and helping restore the club records and through an outpouring of community support, was able to begin a beautiful new collection of fans to replace those lost in the fire. She also volunteered with the Daytona Beach Rotary Club who in 2012 presented her with the Paul Harris Fellowship for her many years of service, and the First United Methodist Church, where she served as chairperson of the Centennial Celebration, the Sunshine Committee, and was the church's first female Deacon. Additional memberships include the Peninsula Club Juniors, the Emblem Club, P.O.R.T. Travel Club, Lake Beresford Yacht Club and Ladies' Club, and the Volusia Garden Club, serving several terms as president and winning many blue ribbons in Everybody's Flower Show throughout the years. She also enjoyed traveling, watching TV game shows and collecting Swarovski crystal, post cards, pelicans, lighthouses and everything nautical. On April 5, 2004, Evelyn married her high school sweetheart, prom date and graduation partner Michael R. Blais, M.D. , retired urologist. They have traveled extensively both at home and abroad including trips to the Western Caribbean, Southern Caribbean, Alaska, Egypt and the Mediterranean, Canadian Rockies and Montreal. In addition to her parents, Evelyn was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, Raymond Wellman and her four brothers, George, Lawrence, Robert and Walter Dittman. She is survived by her loving husband, Dr. Michael Blais, son Philip (Ella) Wellman of Ormond Beach and daughter Nena (Chuck) Brugger of Port Orange, grandsons Adam Wellman and Sean (Pam) Stevens, great-grandsons Quinton and Cameron Stevens and many nieces and nephews. Her "acquired family," as she called it includes Micheline Blais (Lee) Grant, Hattiesburg, MS, Michel (Colleen) Blais , Ormond Beach, Lorraine Blais Knoble, Wilbur-by-the-Sea, Roland Blais, Florence, MS, Carole Starcher, Louisville, KY, Mary Ann Aldrich, Edgewater, and many grands, great-grands, and one great-great-grandson. Visitation will be held on Sunday, September 8 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Baggett and Summers Funeral Home, 736 S. Beach Street, Daytona Beach. Funeral services will be held at the same location on Monday, September 9 at 1:00 pm, with interment following the service at Daytona Memorial Park, 1425 Bellevue Ave., Daytona Beach. Memorial donations may be made to Halifax Health Hospice of Volusia/Flagler, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, 32129 or the Palmetto Club, 1000 S. Beach St., Daytona Beach, 32114. Arrangements are under the careful direction of Baggett and Summers Funeral Home. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.lohmanfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal from Sept. 6 to Sept. 7, 2013
Baggett & Summers Funeral Home
736 South Beach Street Daytona Beach, FL 32114