Virginia May (Ginnie) Blattman
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April 29, 1928 ~ June 19, 2013
Carmel – Surrounded by love, at the Carmel Valley Manor, Virginia May (Ginnie) Blattman, age 85, gently passed from this life to the next on June 19, 2013.
A resident of Carmel Valley for many years, she was born in Dinuba, CA on April 29, 1928 to Frank and Alta Blowers as the first of three children. Growing up she called several San Joaquin Valley area towns home, including Selma, Tehachapi and Reedley; but her schoolteacher parents finally settled in Laton, CA before Ginnie entered high school. She attended Hanford High School, and after graduation enrolled at Fresno State College, majoring in physical education.
While in college, she married her first husband, Murray Saylor, also from Hanford. After graduation in the spring of 1949, she briefly moved to Modesto, CA where she taught girl's P.E. until her first of two daughters was born in 1957. Eighteen months later, she welcomed her second daughter into the world. Following a near-tragic house fire, where she bravely evacuated her daughters in the middle of the night, she would next call Hilmar, CA home.
As a young mother, Ginnie began what was an impressive, life-long involvement with community. She enjoyed many service opportunities at the Hilmar Covenant Church, was active in the AAUW, served as a Girl Scout leader and offered free swimming lessons to many of Hilmar's youngsters. Also at this time, she enthusiastically took up golfing – her perfect swing landing a coveted hole-in-one during one of many tournaments she eagerly entered.
But it was another move back to Modesto that changed her life's focus, forever. She began teaching again. First at Downey High School, followed by a position as head of the girl's physical education program at Beyer High School. After a divorce, she met and then married the "love of her life", Gene Blattman on December 21,1974 – with their love continuing to grow until the day she died.
Her blended family now had seven children, and she felt a sense of new purpose and energy. She embraced all whom she met around her, and harnessed her compassion and non-judgmental listening skills into Hospice work after they moved to Gilroy, CA. Shortly thereafter, she was named as the South San Benito County Director to the Center for Living With Dying where she continued grief counseling work with a passion. Over the ensuing years, Ginnie studied for and completed a Masters' Degree in Counseling from San Jose State; all the while taking the time to stay close to the lives of her children and grandchildren, and serve the faith community she found around her.
When Gene's job as president, and then CEO, of McCormick/Schilling took them to Maryland, she continued yet another phase in her life. Ginnie's grace, beauty, warmth and hospitality were legendary. She was extremely proud of her role supporting her husband as "First Lady of McCormick", and immersed herself in those close to her. After Gene's retirement, they moved to Carmel Valley where she served in many capacities at Carmel Presbyterian Church. Her unconditional love of family and church remained pivotal for the remainder of her life.
Ginnie was many things to many people: wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, teacher, counselor and friend. But no matter her role, she was universally described as generous in spirit; a generosity she always attributed to God's love.
Ginnie is survived by her husband, Gene; her sister, Vivian Potter of Erie, PA; and six children along with their spouses, Bob and Trish Blattman of Superior, CO; Beth and Tom Wilmer of Morro Bay, CA; Vikki and Kermit Carter of Elk, CA; Lori and Audey Robison of Keizer, OR; Kirk and Laura Blattman of San Ramon, CA; and Keith and Maria Blattman of Livermore, CA. Eleven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren also survive her. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Frank Blowers, Jr; and son, Kevin Blattman.
Interment will be a family affair, but those wishing to remember Ginnie are invited to a Celebration of Life service to be held at Sanctuary Bible Church in Carmel Valley on July 6, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either Carmel Valley Manor, 8545 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel, CA 93923 or Sanctuary Bible Church, 8340 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel, CA 93923. To sign Ginnie's guest book and leave messages for her family, please visit www.thepaulmortuary.com.
Published in The Monterey Herald on June 28, 2013