Shirley Lois Blake

On June 17, 2017, Shirley Lois (Rymill) Blake left this world to be with her “Lord

and Savior.” She was surrounded by the love of her children at her own home, in her

beautiful purple bedroom. Her passing was as graceful and peaceful as she lived her life.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”

—Proverbs 31:25

Shirley was born July 20, 1924, in Jay Em, Wyoming, and was raised on her family’s 10, 000-acre Hereford cattle ranch in Lusk, Wyoming. Her parents, Walter L. Rymill and Mildred V. Rymill, were highly-involved leaders in 4-H. Shirley spent much of her youth prior to college competing and showing her prize-winning bulls, steers and heifers along with sewing, gardening, and scrap booking. In the late 30s and early 40s she was a top honor award winner in almost every class and category with every Hereford she showed. In 1945 at the Denver Stock Show she won 1st award in the Showmanship contest out of 600 boys and girls. She also won the Livestock Championship contest in Wyoming, the only female to hold this award at that time. Her first steer went to Chicago and was Reserve Champion of the show.

Shirley attended the University of Colorado to obtain her degree in Dietetics. While interning in Seattle at Swedish Hospital she met F. Carlton Blake of Blake’s Bakery in West Seattle.

In 1950 they were married. While in Seattle Shirley decorated windows for the bakery, had four children and was very involved with Gatewood Baptist Church. In 1960 the family moved to Vashon and she became involved with the Bethel Church. Her fifth child was born in 1962.

In 1963 she and Carl divorced and she courageously raised five children on her own, standing tall and proud relying on her faith in God, her strong determination, a whole lot of love and hard work along with the support of amazing friends. She worked at Island Manor with Loraine

Dugan for many years; she also worked with Lorraine Kimmel and Dorothy Ericksen at

Kimmel’s store. As a family we would pick berries at Tok’s in the summer. For many years Shirley commuted off Island to many nursing homes throughout the Puget Sound area. Her dedication to her faith was instrumental in growing the “Life Changing Prayer Group” along with many other people in the VPC family.

Words cannot express our gratitude and thanks to the Vashon Hospice team, you are all “angels” too. Also a special thank you to her caregivers Sissle and Sally, you both gave her hours of pleasure. Thank you to all of you who sent her cards, visited her and kept her in your prayers this last year as she was not able to get out as much.

She is survived by her children Daniel Blake (Heidi), Robin Knight (Earle), Paul Blake,

Sherrie Dierks (Aaron), 11 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and numerous cousins throughout the Midwest.

She was preceded in death by her parents Walter L. and Mildred V. Rymill, her brother Rainy Rymill, her eldest son Carlton Walter (Butch) Blake, and her grandson Cole Carlton Dierks.

A Funeral Celebrating Her Life will be held at 2:00 pm on July 8th, 2017, at the Bethel Church, Vashon, Washington.

Hailee, her youngest granddaughter requests you please wear bright happy colors. “Grandma’s favorite color is any shade of purple.”

Donations in Shirley’s name can be made to The Vashon Presbyterian Church, Providence Hospice or the Vashon Community Care.

For a complete obituary please visit our online guest book at

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