Paulie Marie Blankenship
May 18, 1950-Nov. 28, 2016
Paulie Marie Blankenship, 66, died early on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. She died at home from a swift and sudden heart attack, with her husband Harvey Blankenship by her side. “She went home to be with her Lord and Savior,” her family said.
Paulie was born on May 18, 1950, in Lewiston, Maine, at the peak of the fiddlehead season. She grew up in a family of five children, attended high school in Lewiston and attended college for a year, before spreading her wings and hitchhiking to Alaska in the early 1970s. Paulie loved Alaska, and found the relaxed Alaska way of life much more suited to her earthy, “hippie” ways than that of more rigid New England. She embraced the rugged Alaska lifestyle with stamina, strength and resilience. Paulie lived remotely in a cabin on Crossman Ridge for a couple of years, then moved to Tutka Bay with Dick Dunn. They were married by Brother Asaiah in the late 1970s. They thrived in the simple subsistence life, in harmony with the ebb and flow of the tides, harvesting from the land and sea. Paulie joyfully gathered blueberries, wild mushrooms and fiddleheads, exploring the beaches for tiny shells, and crafting candles from kelp bulbs. Many of her treasures ended up hanging from her mobiles or gracing her unique outhouse.
In 1978, Paulie was thrilled to give birth to her only son, appropriately named Jocean Dawn. They had many wonderful adventures together. Eventually life took a few difficult twists, through which Paulie found her hope in the love of God, and in 1991 Paulie moved to Homer. In 1992, she began her 25 year career as a certified nursing assistant and restorative aide in Long Term Care at South Peninsula Hospital. She was chosen as Employee of the Quarter in 2011 because of her exceptional work ethic and compassion for the residents. Her innovative presence at the hospital will be greatly missed. Paulie planned to retire in May.
Paulie remarried on May 6, 1995, to Harvey Blankenship. They celebrated 22 years of marriage this spring and were anticipating a grand road trip to visit the grandchildren and her siblings in Maine.
Paulie loved nature and being outdoors, beachcombing, exploring in the woods, cross-country skiing and hiking and digging in the earth. On one of her excursions, she and Harvey made a rare beachcomber’s find, a sea turtle washed up on an Alaskan beach. She was very artistic and creative, and her most recent passion was creating beautiful stained glass works of art in exquisite colors. Her simplicity and love of God’s creation was beautiful, and her kind, caring spirit will be so greatly missed.
Paulie was preceded in death by her son, Jocean Dunn; her brother, Raymond Bergeron; and her parents, Joseph and Jacqueline Bergeron.
She is survived by her husband, Harvey Blankenship of Homer; siblings, Robert (and Jeselle) Bergeron of Anchorage, Sue (and Dwight) Corning of S. Paris, Maine, and JoAnn (and Jeff) Suter of Seattle; grandchildren, Bradly, Denali and Caleb; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
A celebration of Paulie’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016, at the Homer Assembly of God Church, 736 East End Road. Please bring a healthy potluck dish and stories to share.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to be made in Paulie’s honor to the missions department of the Homer Assembly of God, as Paulie’s heart was that others might also know the love of God.
Arrangements were by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.