Elna Marian Bliske of Lodi, California passed away peacefully on Friday, October 7, 2018 at Lodi Memorial Hospital at 94 years of age.
She was born on February 26, 1924 to George and Mollie Wittler in Cornlea, Nebraska. She attended St. Francis High School in Humphrey where she was head cheerleader, and well known for her lively sense of humor. At her 75th high school reunion in 2016, Elna was one of just four surviving graduates to attend. Upon her high school graduation, she attended Van Sants Business College in Omaha before enlisting in the U.S. Navy WAVES and relocating to San Francisco, where she met and married fellow Navy vet Raymond Bliske, and together they had three children. They settled in Watsonville, California where Elna served as the much beloved school secretary at T.S. MacQuiddy Elementary School for over 20 years.
Elna was an enthusiastic world traveler, an avid bowler, and an active community member, involved with Y.L.I., RPEA, and acting as the decorating chair for the annual Harvest Festival put on by Saint Patrick’s Church, where she and her family were long time parishioners.
Elna relocated to Lodi in 2000 where she attended Saint Anne’s Catholic Church, and became a published poet in the Lodi Sentinel.
Elna was preceded in death by her husband of 72 years, Ray; brothers Jacob and Leland Wittler; and sisters Sedona Lachnit, and Verla Balvin. She is survived by her son Larry Bliske and Fran Kindred, and daughters Laura and Greg Williams, and Janice Bliske. She was much loved by her nine grandchildren, Ron and Tracy Curtis, Jeff Bliske, Jennifer and Tom Duffy, Julie and Chris Croghan, Annie and Jeremy Blackmun, Janice Laura Bliske and Cody Lange, Molly Mix, Kelley and Robbie Anderson, and Ryan Mix. Elna’s 19 greatgrandchildren and one great-great-grandchild adored their ‘Mimi’ and she will be greatly missed.
A viewing will be held at Mehl’s Colonial Chapel, 222 E. Lake Ave in Watsonville, on Sunday, October 14 from 5-9pm, with a Rosary service at 7pm. Elna’s Mass of Christian Burial will take place the following day on Monday, October 15 at 1pm at Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church (Valley Church), 2401 E. Lake Ave, with burial immediately following at Valley Public Cemetery. A Celebration of Life luncheon at the Elks Lodge, 121 Martinelli Street, will immediately follow the burial service.
The family would like to thank the nurses of Adventist Health Lodi Memorial for the support and care provided to Elna and her family in her last days.