- About Us
Shirley Lois BlakeJuly 20, 1924 ~ June 17, 2017 (age 92)
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.”
Born in Jay Em, Wyoming and 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 30ʼs and early 40ʼs 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. A favorite story was of her father whom
sold Roy Rogers a Palomino Stallion that eventually became one of the famous Triggerʼs. Often she
reminisced about her life on the ranch with her Grandparents and how her Grandma Robbins would teach
her about “Jesus” and the bible while they made pies together or how her Dad would put a piece of
material in the flap-jacks on April Fool’s day for the ranch hands.
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 Blakeʼs Bakery in West Seattle. In 1950 they were married.
While in Seattle Shirley decorated windows for the bakery, had 4 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 5th child was born in 1962. In 1963 she and Carl divorced and she courageously
raised 5 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 Kimmelʼs store. As a family we would pick berries at Tokʼs in the summer. For
many years she commuted off Island to many nursing homes throughout the Puget Sound area. Being a
registered dietician was not only about special diets, but to her it needed to taste and look appetizing. She
took great pride in listening to her patients’ needs and concerns along with doctors’ orders; sometimes
spending many countless hours hand writing special menus for her patients that had special dietary and
Entertaining and being a hostess was one of her favorite things to do. Family holidays, celebrations, bible
studies or even tea party’s with her grandchildren. Presentation for anything and everything she did was
of the utmost importance. She was a phenomenal cook; she could make a prime rib roast that melted in
your mouth. She could decorate for any occasion with delicacy, finesse and beauty. Her flower arranging
was beyond beautiful! It would be hard to count how many weddings, church services and so many other
occasions she was asked to arrange the flowers because everyone knew it would be like a masterpiece.
She could wrap a present so perfectly and beautiful without one piece of tape; using only her gorgeous
handmade bows that when finished looked like a piece of art.
After retiring in 1995 she was able to pursue her love of gardening and spending more time with her
family, especially her grandchildren. She worked many years turning her front and lower yard and deck
into an English garden. At this time in her life she was very involved with the Vashon Presbyterian Church
Her dedication to her faith was instrumental with growing the “Life Changing Prayer Group” along with
many other people in the VPC family.
Shirley's heart was as big as they come. Her faith and love for her “Lord” was known to everyone who
knew her. When she smiled at you she shined with her love of God. She was an exceptional listener and
people leaned on her for prayers, strength and guidance. If you were having struggles after a few minutes
talking with her you could not help but feel better, her positive words, her prayers and complete faith that
God will show the way always made you leave her feeling better for knowing her. She loved the Lord
and looked forward to the day she would meet him in heaven. “Oh, what a glorious day that will be” she
Shirley's love and pride for her children and grandchildren was bigger than anyone could imagine. We
were her world and we are truly grateful for the amazing mother, grandmother, friend, role model and
ʻangelʼ God has blessed us with. She gave us more than she knew just by being the truly loving, faithful
“lady” she was.
Words cannot express our gratitude and thanks to the Vashon Hospice team, you are all ʻangelsʼ too. Also
a special thank you to her care givers Sissle and Sally, you both gave her hours of pleasure. Thank you
to all of you whom 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, Zack and Gabriel Blake, J.J. knight (Katie), Corina Lange
(Jason), Jeffrey Blake, Jennifer Blake- Rivera (Reuben), Carlynn Rickels (Joel), Josh Randall, Ezra Blake,
Gus and Hailee Dierks and 7 great grandchildren, Jacob and Colby Lange, Jaxson Knight, Blake and
Cooper Rickels, Conner and Hunter Toft 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 Garden Club.