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BLODGETT, Elke Ingrid
"Death is as much a reality as birth, growth, maturity and old age. It is the one certainty of life." Elke Blodgett, raku potter and long-time environmental and political activist, moved on to another world surrounded by family and friends in a poetic, song-filled passage on February 15, 2018 in Edmonton, AB.
Elke was born in Leipzig, Germany, on November 18, 1936. As a young woman, she lived briefly in France and the US, where she earned a BA, before making her home in St. Albert and near the Pembina River, where she designed and built, by hand, her dream home, the "woodshouse." For decades she fought tirelessly to protect Big Lake and the Sturgeon River and kept St. Albert City Council on its toes. The City of St. Albert recognized her commitment to the environment by naming a peninsula in Riel Pond "Elke's Point."
While raising her three children she built the woodshouse, knit countless socks and sweaters, made mukluks and parkas, became a raku potter, and taught raku firing and kiln building. Her clay works are in collections worldwide including at the Banff Centre, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Canada Council Art Bank, and the Consulate-General of Japan. In 2016 she received the (St. Albert) Mayor's Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts.
Her love of gardening, wild mushrooms, dandelion fritters, killer eggnog, and potent chokecherry wine will live on through her children, Gunnar, Astrid (Herb), and Kirsten (Will), and her much-loved grandchildren, Geoffrey (Mikayla), Church, Bronwen, Melody, Charlotte, Sarah, and Andrew. She is also remembered by her sister, Jutta, and brother, Jörg, in Germany.
A celebration of Elke's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to BLESS (Big Lake Environment Support Society, PO Box 65053, St Albert, AB T8N 1R9).

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Published in Edmonton Journal on Feb. 24, 2018.