Jean Blume 1925 - 2023

Jean Blume passed away in the early morning on May 9, 2023. She was the only child of parents Willis and Margaret Ballard (nee Kohnert) in Mankato, Minnesota, born February 9, 1925. She was 98 years old.

Jean was raised on a farm near Rapidan, Minnesota, graduating from Rapidan High School in 1943.

She married Leo (Lee) Blume in 1944. They raised three children, Sandra, Bonnie and Jeff. They ran a dairy for a time in Madison Lake, Minnesota. Then they went out west to Washington, where Lee entered his main career operating heavy equipment which took them to most of the western states as they followed wherever the road construction took them. She loved the nomadic life of construction, living in two states per year.

For a short season, she worked in the shipyards in Portland. In the '50s, they moved to a small farm near Carlton, Oregon, which cramped her “travel bug” lifestyle, but they needed to settle where the children could go to school and have a stable life.

They moved to McMinnville, Oregon, where they bought a telephone answering service which she ran for a few years. Later, Lee’s work took them to Sherwood. After they retired, they bought a 30-foot 1970 Apollo motorhome and traveled for fun.

After Lee passed away in 1998, she moved to McMinnville, where she was near family. But she also continued to travel, usually south in the winter as the proud “snowbird” that she was. Living on wheels was her love, never considering passing up a perfectly good casino.

She is survived by her three children; four grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and 30 great-great-grandchildren. No services are planned. To leave condolences, visit


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