Elizabeth Valentine (Blaske), 62Published 4:46pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Elizabeth Louise Valentine (Blaske), 62
Born: Oct. 5, 1950
Died: April 10, 2013
Elizabeth Louise Valentine (Blaske), 62, currently of East Lansing, wife of William and mother of Byron Valentine, died peacefully at her home on April 10, 2013.
Her beloved dog Spiri was also at her bedside.
Elizabeth was born the seventh of eight children by Tony and Helen (Lincoln) Blaske and grew up on the family farm in Cass County.
She graduated with top honors from Dowagiac High School and began her college education at Southwestern Michigan College, where she also was campus queen, student body president and a contestant in the Miss Michigan pageant.
Elizabeth and William married on Oct. 19, 1972, in Zollikoffen, Switzerland.
She received her bachelor’s degree in communication arts and sciences and a master’s degree in resource development from Michigan State University and went on to earn a juris doctor of laws degree from the University of Notre Dame.
Elizabeth had a distinguished professional career that included the MSU Office for Research Development, Notre Dame Center for Civil Rights, Elkhart Human Relations Commission, Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Attorney General’s office, private practice and the U.S. Military Training Office in Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain. She also found time to volunteer for local community development, political action and environmental awareness in her neighborhood.
Elizabeth also was instrumental in managing the operations of two family enterprises (ICON — International Consultants and Data Day Ltd). She also took great pains in mid-career to devote time and effort to raising their son, Byron, who graduates from the MSU School of Music on May 4.
Her quiet study habits and careful methods of applying mental acuity would gradually and permanently transfix her son’s way of thinking.
Elizabeth would often awake after long nights of search and discovery poring over hundreds of pages of words and numbers looking for a single crack in her opponent’s defense. The next day in court she would throw words like jabs and punches during oral arguments with fierce intensity and solid intellectual reasoning. The judge would often comment how easy it was to come to a conclusion following her soft, yet compelling and forthright logical thought process.
While we are all very sorry to lose her so soon in this life we are also glad we found her. We are grateful to have known and experienced her humanity, compassion and unselfish concern for the needs of her colleagues, friends and family over the years she was with us. She will be missed but will never be forgotten. A memorial reception will be held at the Bailey Pump House in East Lansing from 1 to 6 p.m. on May 5.
In lieu of flowers, donations in the name of Elizabeth L. Valentine can be made to the United Communities Foundation, P.O. Box 102, Rogers City, MI 49779.