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Bernice Lorraine Lee Blume

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Bernice Lorraine Lee Blume Obituary
Bernice Lorraine Lee Blume

Renaissance Woman

January 7, 1919 to May 8, 2013

Bernice Lorraine Lee Blume, age 94, of Wilmington, Delaware, passed away after a long illness on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, at her home in Highland Woods attended by her family.

Bernice was born on January 7, 1919 at home in Wannaska, Minnesota, where her father was the postmaster, general store owner and a farmer. She graduated from high school in Roseau, Minnesota, attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota and received her nursing degree from the Lutheran Deaconess School of Nursing in Chicago, Illinois.

Following her marriage to Roe C. Blume on December 25, 1940, she moved with him to New York City. Before the birth of their first child, she was a nurse at Fitch's Sanitarium Hospital in the Bronx.

With her family, she joined the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in 1958 when her husband was transferred to Wilmington from Waynesboro, Virginia, and remained a faithful member until her death. Over the years, she served the congregation in a number of capacities, even sewing choir robes when needed. Guided by her faith, she promoted human rights through her own actions and expressed opinions.

With her husband, she joined the Restauration Lodge, Third District, Sons of Norway when it was formed nearby in Pennsylvania. For many years, she served as Lodge Treasurer, and later as Auditor. During that time she guided the investment of Lodge funds, ensuring a stable financial future.

She belonged to the Wilmington Skating Club, where she learned pair skating (dancing on ice skates) and qualified as a regional judge for junior figure skating. In addition, she enjoyed both downhill and cross-country skiing.

Bernice especially enjoyed creative activities. She spent many hours working in the naturalized woodland garden she created. Even after 20 years of neglect due to her failing health, this spring has brought a riot of color from bulbs, wildflowers, azaleas and rhododendrons, which will be followed by more subtle variations in the color and texture of the leaves of trees, shrubs and groundcover.

She was an accomplished seamstress, who created beautifully made clothing for her children, especially her daughters. She created dramatic costumes for competition skaters training at the Wilmington Skating Club and for the annual ice show.

She was an inspiration to her daughters because of her intellectual curiosity, pursuing interests in comparative religion, art, music, and theater. Even her sewing and gardening were pursued with scholarly intensity.

Bernice was preceded in death by her dear husband, Roe Calvin Blume. She is survived by two daughters: Cara Lee Blume, Ph. D., of Dover, Delaware and Lektor Martha Ann Martinsen of Lillehammer, Norway; a son: J. Erik Blume and his wife Aiying Lu of Vista, California; six grandchildren: Samantha Ann Lewis of Dover, Delaware, Siri Anne Martinsen and her husband Per Christian Haugen of Oslo, Norway, Dr. Ane Lee Maren Martinsen, Lillehammer, Norway, Sindre E. Martinsen and his wife Marianne Solberg, Borre, Norway, William Robert Wise of Seaford, Delaware and Lee and Dana Blume and Aini Dai of Vista, California; seven great-grandchildren: Meagan Jean Clough Tienda of Dover, Delaware, Eric James Clough and his wife Melissa Clough-Swire of Camden, Delaware, Christopher Louis Clough of Dover, Delaware, AnnaSophie and Herman Martinsen of Borre, Norway and Erika Lee and Anneli Haugen of Oslo, Norway; and four great-great-grandchildren: Jacob James Tienda of Dover, Delaware, and Aidan Clough-Swire and Alexis and Alayna Swire of Camden, Delaware, as well as a host of friends in all walks of life. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, May 20, at The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1530 Foulk Road, Wilmington, DE 19803. The family will receive visitors beginning at 10 am and the service will begin at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the church.

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Published in The News Journal from May 16 to May 17, 2013
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