DeKALB – G. Elaine Blowers, 81, of DeKalb, Illinois, passed away Wednesday May 14, 2014, at Kishwaukee Hospital in DeKalb.|
Elaine was born to Walter Scott and Gladys Oressa (Millsap) Blowers July 23, 1932, in Mankato, Minnesota. In early 1938, the family moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin, where she attended school. Upon her father's retirement in 1947, they moved to Knox City, Missouri, where Elaine graduated high school. She signed her first teaching contract at the age of 16 and taught for several years in the country schools in Knox County, Missouri. Due to her father's health, she moved to Sandwich, Illinois, in 1957 to live with her parents and taught three years in the Aurora, Illinois, school system.
She earned her bachelor's degree from Truman University in 1959. In 1960, she was employed by the United States Air Force and worked for several years in Europe and the Middle East. In 1966, she returned home and was employed at Northern Illinois University until she retired in 1992. She earned her Masters of Library Science degree from Northern Illinois University in 1967. During these years, she created book catalogs for several elementary schools. In 1971, she entered the doctoral program at the University of Illinois. In 1975, she received the certificate of advanced standing toward the doctorate (course work without dissertation). She had to drop completing the dissertation due to her mother's health. In 1992, she became a professor of journalism at the Foreign Language University in Xian, China.
Elaine developed an interest in genealogy and published books on the Blowers and Wiseman families and researched several related families. She also performed research at the request of others. Elaine and her mother indexed all of the cemeteries in DeKalb County and many in the bordering counties and gave the records to the Genealogical Society of DeKalb County for publication in their magazine. Elaine was a charter member and first president of the Genealogical Society of DeKalb County and was a charter member and secretary of the DeKalb County Historical Society.
As a licensed pilot, Elaine served many years with the rank of major in the Civil Air Patrol, auxiliary of the United States Air Force. She also served several years as a 4-H leader and was a member of DeKalb County Sheriff's Auxiliary for several years. She was a member for several years of the Ninety-Nines, women's aviation organization.
Elaine served nine years as a regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution chapter and several years as an honorary regent. She was a member of the White Shrine of Jerusalem. She was a worthy matron and held other offices in the Order of the Eastern Star.
One of her great hobbies was traveling throughout the world. After 133 countries, she quit counting. She lived extensive periods in France, Germany, Turkey, Soviet Union, Japan and China. Through her travels she learned to speak several languages. In addition to English, Elaine spoke German, Turkish, Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Russian, Chinese and Japanese.
Elaine was predeceased by her parents and her husband, R.H. Changize, and left no survivors.
Private burial was Friday May 16, 2014, in the Ohio Grove Cemetery in Sycamore, Illinois. To send an online condolence, visit www.ronanmoorefinch.com.
Arrangements were entrusted to Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home, 310 Oak St., DeKalb, IL 60115, 815-758-3841.
Published in Daily Chronicle on May 19, 2014