Maxine Ruth Blakeman

Maxine Ruth Blakeman

SANDUSKY: After living a busy and fulfilling life, Maxine Ruth (Pendrey) Blakeman, 91, went to her heavenly home on December 6, 2012, following a short illness. She was born February 13, 1921, in Belle Center, Ohio. Maxine graduated from Old Fort High School in 1939 and Lima Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1942 as a Registered Nurse. She lived her entire life in northern Ohio, including Lima, Fremont and Sandusky.

Her nursing career included work in doctors' offices and as an industrial nurse, where she was the first nurse at what became the New Departure plant. She concluded her professional life at Saint Francis Rehabilitation Hospital and Nursing Home, Green Springs, where she was Assistant Director of Nursing for 20 years, retiring at the age of 68. She was an inaugural member of the landmark Harvard Nurses' Health Study and provided her own health information for more than 35 years, until her death.

She met her husband, J. Robert "Bob" Blakeman, when the two shared a music stand in the clarinet section of the Green Springs Community Band. They were married in 1943. Maxine and Bob had four children: John Blakeman, a retired high school biology teacher, Huron, Ohio; Virginia "Ginny" Blakeman Lenz, a professional violist, Reno, NV; James "Jim" Blakeman, a theology school graduate, Los Angeles, CA; and Charles "Chuck" Blakeman, an entrepreneur, Denver, CO.

Maxine valued civic and community involvement. Two of her accomplishments were a term as president of the Fremont League of Women Voters and three years on the board of the Ohio League of Women Voters. She served on the Fremont City Schools Board for eight years and was one of the first female board members. She also served a term on Fremont's Vanguard Vocational School Board and was a founding member of the Terra State Community College Board of Trustees, where she served for 16 years. Bob and Maxine were members of the Fremont Country Club.

As a woman of faith, she was a longtime and active member of First Presbyterian Church, Fremont. She was a member of First Congregational Church, Sandusky, while she lived in Sandusky.

Never one to let someone else win a game when she could, Maxine enjoyed playing cards, which provided her with decades of enjoyment and friendship. As her daughters-in-law can attest, she always seemed to have a healthy dose of luck during a card game. Maxine excelled at duplicate bridge, which she played with old and new friends for more than 50 years.

Maxine was a lifelong sports fan. She was a diehard Ohio State Buckeyes fan, including two trips to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and tirelessly cheered on the Cleveland Indians. She had season tickets to Fremont Ross Little Giants football games long after her children graduated and enjoyed going to see the Bowling Green Falcons play while she was in her 80s.

She and her family were grateful to the staff of Parkvue Health Care Center and Stein Hospice for their care in her final months and days.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; parents, Escoe and Nellie (Lowe) Pendrey; and brothers Wilson Pendrey and Paul "Red" Pendrey. She is survived by her four children, their spouses, 10 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and her sister AnnaBelle "Pepper" (Pendrey) Ingold, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Memorial Services will be in the future, to be determined by the family.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Congregational United Church of Christ, 431 Columbus Avenue Sandusky, Ohio, or to Stein Hospice Care Center, 1200 Sycamore Line Sandusky, Ohio 44870. Condolences may be shared at

Funeral Home

Groff Funeral Homes
1607 E. Perkins Ave. Sandusky, OH 44870
(419) 626-3632

Published in the News-Messenger on Dec. 8, 2012