Eunice Ann Blum was born on July 19, 1937, in Portsmouth Iowa, the daughter of Zeno and Viola (Schwery) Leinen. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Mary Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Portsmouth. Eunice attended St. Mary's Grade and High School and graduated in 1955, achieving the prestigious honor of Valedictorian.
On June 10, 1957, Eunice married the love of her life, Ralph J. Blum, at St. Mary's Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. Together, they were blessed with five children: Joan, Roger, Lori, Karen, and Mary Jo. The family settled in Panama and created a warm and loving home. After the death of Ralph in 1996, Eunice found love again and married Gilbert Loeffler in November 2003 at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Panama. Their union was a testament to her resilience and capacity for happiness even after experiencing profound loss.
In addition to being a mother and farm wife her determination and work ethic were unparalleled. From 1976 to 1989, she served as a waitress at Mickels Restaurant in Harlan. Following this, she became a custodian at the Harlan Community High School from 1989 to 2001. Eunice also worked tirelessly at the CDS Global in Harlan from 1983 until her retirement in 2004.
Eunice was passionate about serving several organizations within her community. She was a member of St. Mary's Ladies Groups serving as both President and Vice President during her tenure. Eunice contributed passionately as a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court St. Maria Goretti #2498 and holding roles of Regent and Financial Secretary. Teaching CCD was another ministry Eunice was dedicated to, exemplifying her faith and commitment to serving others and fostering close-knit communities.
Throughout her years, Eunice had a variety of hobbies and interests bringing her immense joy. She enjoyed tending to her flower and vegetable gardens and putting together jigsaw puzzles. She had a deep faith in God and traveling to various religious sites. A great joy in Eunice's life was clowning for Christ with her dear friend Betty Reinig. Together they formed a spirited duo known as Sunshine and Bloomers. Cake decorating was another avenue where Eunice showcased her creative talents.
Known for her impeccable organizational skills, Eunice had a talent for creating order out of chaos. She had a resilient sense of humor that brightened the lives of all those around her. Even when the jokes were at her own expense, she never showed embarrassment but instead laughed along, always radiating positivity and bringing joy to others. Her laughter was infectious, and she had a unique ability to lighten any situation with her quick wit and lighthearted spirit. Eunice led a life of unwavering love and compassion for her family and friends. She was a dedicated mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.
Eunice passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on Sunday, November 5, 2023 at the Myrtue Medical Center in Harlan, attaining the age of 86 years, 3 months, and 17 days. In addition to her parents, Eunice was preceded in death by her two husbands: Ralph Blum and Gilbert Loeffler; brother, Harvey Leinen; sisters: Ursula Bruck, Verlee Leinen, and Linda Daoust; brother-in-law, Mike Bruck; sister-in-law and brothers-in-law: Adeline and Nick May and Isabel and Al Feldman.
She is survived by her children: Joan (Butch) Byers of Tabor, South Dakota, Roger Blum (Kim Marples) of Defiance, Lori (Craig) Oswald of Denver, Colorado, Karen Blum of Yankton, South Dakota and Mary Jo (Jeff) Schmitz of Denver, Colorado; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; siblings: Jim (Dorothy) Leinen of Denison, Orville (Kathleen) Leinen of Panora, Mildred (Jerry) Brus of Denison, and Zita (Gaylen) Smith of Portsmouth; sister-in-law: Charlotte Leinen of Harlan; brother-in-law, Mark Daoust of Nebraska City, Nebraska; numerous nieces and nephews, other relatives and many friends.
A Rosary will begin at 1:00 p.m. with Visitation to follow until 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 12, 2023 at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Panama. Visitation will resume on Monday, November 13, 2023 from 9:45 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. at the St. Mary of the Assumption Parish Center in Panama with the Mass of Christian Burial starting at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church. Burial will be in the Parish cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the family.
Monday, November 13, 2023
10:30 - 11:15 am (Central time)
Visitation will resume from 9:45am to 10:15am prior to the Mass at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Parish Center.