Judith Lee Schneider Blaschke of Latonia was all about Christmas. She decorated her home with a flourish, beginning around Thanksgiving. Trees were trimmed with care as were the hallways and doorways. She placed trees in each of her children's bedrooms taking their requests for themes or using her own inspirations.
"Our house was beautiful. Every room was Christmas," said her daughter, Jeanne Berger of Fort Mitchell. "She was a devoted Catholic and Christmas was a big deal in our house. She loved to celebrate."
Mrs. Blaschke loved the holiday so much; she decided to open a store where people could shop year round. The Christmas Shoppe opened on Main Street in Covington's MainStrasse area in 2000.
Her store was a festive and welcoming place, matching her own cheerful personality. Along with ornaments, ribbons, toys and such, Mrs. Blaschke designed custom wreathes, florals and unique decorations requested by customers. For some, she graciously went to their homes to help create the perfect holiday mood.
"She was always happy and had a big heart. You could feel it when she took you under her wing," said her friend Donna Muldoon of Anderson Township. "People would come into the store just to say, 'Hi.' She knew everybody."
Mrs. Blaschke died Saturday, March 23, at St. Elizabeth Edgewood. She was 73.
She was the second oldest of six children born to Justin and Dorothy Schneider of Covington and Taylor Mill.
She graduated from Notre Dame Academy in 1957 and then attended floral design school.
She met her husband, Jerry Blaschke, on a blind date. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January.
She worked for a number of years with Schultz and Sons Diamond Jewelers in Covington and Fort Mitchell. She opened the Christmas Shoppe after retiring from the jewelers.
Her daughter, Julie Mullins of Taylor Mill, said her mother's design talent extended to sewing too. She was an incredible seamstress who created her wedding gown and had just completed her daughter's prom dress.
Mrs. Blaschke was a member of St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and a former member of Holy Cross Church in Latonia. She volunteered with the Holy Cross Mother's Club, Gemma Guild and Notre Dame Academy. She helped coordinate St. Nicholas's visit in MainStrasse, the Cotton Follies for Redwood and loved gardening in the gardens of the Cathedral Basilica.
"Mom wasn't one of those people who sought glory or attention. She loved making people happy and anything she did, she did on a grand scale, just to see them smile," Mullins said.
Along with her two daughters and husband, survivors include her sons, Gerry Blaschke of Covington and Jon Blaschke of Georgetown, Ky.; sisters, Gerry Zembrodt of Kenton Hills, Ky. and LeeAnn Kordenbrock of Erlanger, Ky.; brothers, Ron Schneider of Taylor Mill, Ky. and Justin Schneider of Independence, Ky; and seven grandchildren.
Visitation will be 11 a.m. to noon, with Mass of Christian Burial following today, Wednesday, March 27, St. Mary's Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington. Burial will be in Mother of God Cemetery, Fort Wright. Connley Brothers Funeral Home in Latonia is handling arrangements.
Memorials: Parish Kitchen, P.O. Box 1234, Covington, KY 41012.
Online condolences to www.connleybrothersfuneralhome.com.
Published in the Kentucky Enquirer from Mar. 27 to Mar. 28, 2013