Germaine Blake, 79

Published 11:22 am Thursday, December 1, 2011

Germaine Blake, 79, of Stacyville, Iowa, died Nov. 28, 2011, at St. Marys Hospital, Rochester, Minn. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at Visitation Catholic Church, Stacyville, with Father Jack McClure, CPPS officiating. Burial will be in Visitation Cemetery, Stacyville. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday with Scripture Service at 7 p.m.

Germaine Blake

Germaine was born Oct. 14, 1932, on a farm outside Stacyville, the youngest child of Albert and Pauline Mayer. She attended Visitation Grade School and High School and then moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa, for two years where she obtained a teaching certificate at the Iowa State Teachers’ College. She taught at Sacred Heart School in Meyer, Iowa, for three years before “retiring” to get married. On June 10, 1954, Germaine married her high school sweetheart, Willie. She raised three children, Debra, Diane and Mark, until 1964 when Visitation Grade School called her to teach fifth grade. She later taught second and third grade for the remainder of her career. While teaching, she returned to college, teaching night classes and attending summer school to obtain her bachelor’s degree at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. During her tenure at Visitation, she became the first communion teacher, preparing hundreds of children to receive the Eucharist. She retired in 1997 after 33 years at Visitation School. After retirement, Germaine tutored individual children until one week before she died. In 1999, she received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the Department of Elementary Schools of the National Catholic Education Association. In 2000, she was named to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for excellence as an educator.

Germaine’s interests and abilities ranged widely. Early in her marriage, she sewed many outfits for herself and her children, taking after her mother, Pauline, a seamstress. Her garden was always an important part of her life. Initially, she grew and canned vegetables and, after retirement, she tended a colorful array of flowers. She was especially known for baking tasty pies, bars, cookies and coffee cake. She also loved reading, solving crossword puzzles and traveling. She achieved one of her lifetime goals by visiting the Vatican and obtaining an audience with the Pope. Recently, she traveled to England, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and other places to visit family.

Email newsletter signup

In retirement, she bowled, played bridge and volunteered extensively. She was active in the Stacyville Nursing Home Auxiliary and the American Legion Auxiliary, serving as education chairman for many years. She also served on the auxiliary for the Mitchell County Regional Health Center and volunteered in the hospital gift shop. She delivered Meals on Wheels to hometown residents and served as a Eucharistic minister for Visitation Church, presenting communion at mass and taking communion to elderly community members and nursing home residents. She was a member of the Cedar Valley Chapter of the Iowa Retired School Personnel Association.

Germaine is survived by her husband, Willard Blake; daughters, Debra Blake of Minneapolis and Diane (Ron) Peterson of Lakeville, Minn.; son, Mark Blake of Polk City, Iowa; grandchildren, Erick and Adam Peterson; brother, Edwin (Estelle) Mayer of Bella Vista, Alaska; and numerous nephews; nieces and brothers- and sisters-in-law.

Germaine is preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Pauline Mayer; brothers, Jerome Mayer and Leo Mayer; sisters, Cecilia Meinders and Helen Cerrato.

We feel your strength, love and guidance as our Guardian Angel.

Schroeder & Sites Funeral Home, St. Ansgar, is in charge of arrangements.