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Harry Lee Blaisdell and Mamie Blaisdell

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Harry Lee Blaisdell and Mamie Blaisdell Obituary
Harry Lee Blaisdell & Mamie Blaisdell
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA
Mamie Colletto Blaisdell passed away October 5, 2014 in San Luis Obispo, CA. Born October 19, 1922 in Monterey, CA, she was the second youngest sibling in the Michael and Providencia (Bessie) Colletto family, known for their contribution to the sardine fishing industry in Monterey. Mamie worked as a teller for Bank of America and for the Monterey County Veterans Services office.
Always a great cook, she made family get-togethers and holidays a celebration of sharing and eating. Being from a large Italian family meant regular family picnics and reunions with plenty of aunts, uncles, cousins and food. With her big smile and kind words, Mamie made conversation easy, infusing it with encouragement and wisdom. She kept in touch with so many people and never stopped corresponding with handwritten letters.
Mamie was the last surviving sibling, preceded in death by her brothers, Salvatore, Francis (Frank), Vincent, Ratzi (Tiny), Ceasar and Joseph; and sisters, Mary Canepa, Rosalie Zakby, Angelina Balesteri, and Violet Colletto.
Harry Lee Blaisdell Jr. (Lee) passed away October 7, 2014 in San Luis Obispo, CA. Born November 19, 1920 in Preston, CA, to Harry and Wyima Blaisdell, Lee grew up in places like Mt. Diablo, La Purisima Mission, and Casa del Oro in Monterey as a result of his father's career with the California State Parks. Lee was a founding photographer for Hot Rod Magazine, member of the Professional Photographers of America, a 60-year member of the American Legion, a photography stringer for United Press in Monterey, and he started his own post card business, creating many original views, from the Monterey Peninsula to the Hearst Castle. From 1968 to 1979 he worked for Mike Roberts Color Productions in Berkeley, CA. Lee served in the Navy during WWII and was a volunteer at the Santa Maria Museum of Flight.
He used his camera to document family and community life and through his photographs he preserved so many memories. He enjoyed interacting with people he met and never lost his sense of humor.
Lee is preceded in death by his sisters, Evelyn Sharkey and Patricia Gossett, and survived by his brother, Robert Blaisdell.
Lee and Mamie were married December 4, 1949 in Monterey, where they raised their family, and would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this year. They were both Deacons at the First Presbyterian Church in Monterey. In 1977 they moved to Glendale, CA and began their work, spreading the word of God. They worked for Campus Crusades for Christ then Wycliffe Bible Translators before moving to Santa Maria in 1984. In 2003 they were given The Karl Wellman Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northern Santa Barbara County chapter of NAMI. They both had a strong sense of family which grew to include many friends. For the last decade they lived in San Luis Obispo.
Lee and Mamie are survived by their 4 children, Allen, Michael, Geri and son-in-law, Rex Lanier, and Charles; 5 grandchildren and 3 step-grandchildren, 5 great and 5 step-great grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces. Their ashes are placed in the El Encinal Cemetery in Monterey. They both passed peacefully in the knowledge that they would soon be with their Lord in Heaven. There will be no memorial service, but relatives will be having a reunion.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Nov. 5, 2014
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