Natural beauty Carol Blakley was born E. Carol Brown on Nov. 12, 1923, on a farm near Lebanon, Kan. She attended Lebanon High School where she was the secretary of her class. In 1940, she moved to Caldwell, and graduated from Caldwell High in 1941. At a Church Society meeting, she met future husband Ron Blakley.
March 17, 1942, a day that will go down in history, marks the date that she and Ron were married in Pendleton, Ore., a loving union which has lasted over 67 years. She and Ron traveled extensively while he was in flying training in the Army Air Corps. They settled in Oregon, where Ron attended OSU.
Carol gave birth to daughter, Ronee Sue on August 24, 1945, son, Stephen Franklin on June 2, 1951, and Marthetta Mae ("Muffie") on July 11, 1954, after which the family returned to Caldwell. Ron opened a consulting engineering firm, which he operated for 32 years.
Carol assisted in the business as a bookkeeper, but her real career was as a homemaker and volunteer, a church and community activist with the Disciples of Christ Christian Church (where she served on the General Board), GLAD, PFlag, and Crop Walk, just a few of the many beneficiaries of her lifelong devotion to causes she believed in, including hosting three exchange students from South America.
On Dec. 7, 1962, she gave birth to son, John David.
Carol served as the chairman of the first art auction and ball to benefit the Canyon County Mental Health Association and was an active proponent of lesbian and gay rights throughout the nation. Indeed, she will be remembered for her speech at the General Assembly of her church, widely credited with leading to an acceptance of gay people in the ministry. She was a member of P.E.O. chapter BM for over 30 years.
In 1991, Carol was featured in the Idaho Daily Statesman as Distinguished Citizen of the Month. Carol attended BSU throughout the '70s, taking classes in her various interests (and they were varied). She announced proudly that she'd "majored in me".
Carol loved the arts. At age 16 she won a talent show in Lebanon singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," was in her later years a performing member of Majors and Minors, and an attendee at all the concerts she could fit in. She made sure that her children were enrolled in piano lessons.
Carol died Oct. 5, 2009, surrounded by her husband, children and grandchildren. She is survived by husband, Ron; sister, Marthetta Jones; children, Ronee Blakley, Marthetta Mae ("Muffie") Blakley, and John Blakley and his wife, Donna; grandchildren, Jackson Blakley and Sarah Blakley-Cartwright; and numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and dear friends.
She was preceded in death by son, Stephen Blakley, parents Jim and Mae Brown, and five brothers.
Carol spent her life caring for others, and was a woman who'd never met a stranger. Her flair for living life to the fullest will be remembered deeply by all those who knew and loved her.
Services will be held at Treasure Valley Christian Church, 2915 S. Montana, Caldwell at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 9, 2009, followed by inurnment at Canyon Hill Cemetery, Caldwell. Condolences and memories may be shared with Carol's family through their online guestbook at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Treasure Valley Christian Church or the Caldwell Education Fund at Caldwell High School in Stephen Blakley's name or to your favorite charity.
Published in Idaho Press Tribune on Oct. 8, 2009.