Loretta H. Blanken, 95, Greenleaf, died Friday, March 17, 2017 at the Linn Community Nursing Home. Visitation wasfrom 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 21 at the Ward Funeral Home in Linn. The family received friends from 5 to 7 p.m. A funeral service was 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Greenleaf with Pastor Jacob Sherry officiating. Arlene Miller was the organist and the congregation sang “Behold a Host Arrayed in White,” “Lord Thee I Love With All My Heart,” “Now Sing We Now Rejoice” and “My Faith Looks Up to Thee.” Pallbearers were Jeremy Stover, Michael Weiche, Que Herrs, Jeremy Schroeder, Shelby Wehrman, Casey Wehrman, Derek Pyeatt and Jared Thomas. Honorary pallbearers were Jaime Schroeder, Melanie Wehrman, Stephanie Wehrman, Natalie Pyeatt, Julie Thomas, Traci Stover, Tonya Weiche and Tammy Herrs. Burial was in the church cemetery. Loretta was born at Ellsworth, KS to Ernest and Maude (Jessup) Schwerdtfeger on September 13, 1921. She was baptized on October 21, 1921 and confirmed April 15, 1935 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Ellsworth. Loretta earned her teaching certificate from Concordia Teachers College, Seward, NE and taught at Ellsworth, Russell, St. John’s at Palmer and Immanuel Lutheran at Linn. She was united in marriage to Ernest Blanken on June 9, 1946 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Ellsworth. Loretta was a member of EHU, LWML and Ladies Aid. She taught Sunday and Saturday School and was a choir director. Loretta was involved in many community and church activities throughout her life. She enjoyed sewing for herself and her family, crafts, gardening and baking. Family was important to her and she enjoyed family gatherings, going to grandchildren’s activities, and great grandchildren visiting the nursing home. Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Ernest in 2014; an infant son; sisters, Marie and Edith; brother, Wilbur; and brothers and sisters-in-law. Survivors include her sons, Roger Blanken, Greenleaf; Armin (Chris) Blanken, Greenleaf; daughter, Connie (Lynn) Thomas, Riley; eight grandchildren, Jaime (Jeremy) Schroeder, Melanie (Shelby) Wehrman, Stephanie (Casey) Wehrman, Natalie (Derek) Pyeatt, Jared (Julie) Thomas, Traci (Jeremy) Stover, Tonya (Michael) Weiche, and Tammy (Que) Herrs; and twenty-two great-grandchildren, Jayleigh, Caleb Alayna, Kathryn, Haven, Gracie Wehrman, John, Jason, Justus, Carsten, Chaitan Wehrman, Kaitlin, Noah, Micah Pyeatt, Paige, Saige Stover, Emily, Kaily, Wyatt Weiche, Addison, Gavin, and Brogan Herrs; and several nieces and nephews. A memorial fund has been established and will be designated by the family later. Contributions may be sent to Ward Funeral Home, PO Box 157, Washington, KS 66968.
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