Cover photo for Lillian Blake's Obituary
1921 Lillian 2017

Lillian Blake

November 14, 1921 — March 2, 2017

LILLIAN MAE (ROTH) BLAKE

11/14/1921-03/02/2017

Lilian Mae Roth was born to Jacob and Susanna (Gans, Schimpf) Roth on November 14, 1921 in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada.  She was one of 15 children born to her parents, and has survived everyone in her family of origin, and all her friends.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 41 years, Elwyn Lester Blake, daughters Melody Ann and Francine Marilyn.  She is survived by sons Ronald Elwyn and Gary Arthur, and daughter Linda Mae Blake.  Grandchildren are Robert Bain III, Ronald Blake, Jr., Roger Ollison, Kenneth, Lindsey, and Geoffrey Blake, and one great granddaughter.

In January, 1929 her father and mother, along with some of her siblings, came to Portland, Oregon, where she lived the rest of her life.  She became a naturalized citizen at age 21, and changed the spelling of Lillian.

As a child, Lillian attended Sabin Grade School, and one year at Jefferson High School, in N.E. Portland.  They lived in the neighborhood dubbed “St. Petersburg, little Russia”, with Volga Germans from Russia.   As a young child she worked with the family in Scholls, Oregon picking fruit, and in St. Paul in September to pick hops.  She loved to visit the hop fields and see the automated production, and share her wonderful memories of those times.  She began working in her mid-teens as a live-in housekeeper, and did waitressing.

She married Elwyn Blake in 1942, and had 5 children.  She worked tirelessly to raise her kids.  Periodically she worked jobs outside the home including, Jantzen Knitting Mills, Kafoury’s and other sewing factories.  She worked in a nursing home, and sometimes cleaned homes on weekends.  She helped at the family business, a woodworking shop, and went to the woods to cut trees and split for firewood.  She retired at age 62.

At age 42 she studied and got her GED.  She struggled with math and fractions, but with Linda’s help was able to pass the tests.  Lillian loved cooking on a wood stove at Oceanlake (now Lincoln City) during the family’s many beach trips and summer vacations.

She loved good music and dancing, quality films with good acting, and sewed over 60 quilts on her old Singer treadle machine.  She was legally blind from macular degeneration when she sewed her final quilt at age 85.  She had a great sense of humor, and a host of friends who loved her.  In the early years of her marriage, there was a group of about 25 people who gathered for potlucks, card games, and fun.

Lillian’s last years were at home, where she passed.  She was called by the spiritual world for 5 days before her heart stopped on Thursday, March 2.  She was 95 and had a long and sometimes very difficult life.  Lillian could always find ways to be cheerful and look for the positive in all things.  Now she rests with all of those who have been waiting for her for many years.  Memories of her strength, vitality and love abound.  We will miss you, Mom.


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