June 6, 1926 – March 24, 2018
Longtime Elko jeweler, community and business leader, Theodore (Ted) Robert Blohm, died peacefully at his home on March 24, 2018 at age 91.
Ted was born on June 6, 1926 in Muscoda, Wisconsin to Walter N. (Wally) and Ethel Blohm. He moved with his family to Elko in August 1941 where his parent had bought a small jewelry store in the Commercial Hotel, the first of several Blohm Jewelers locations in Elko. Ted graduated Elko High School in 1943, then, attended Bradley Technical School in Peoria, Illinois where he earned a watch making degree. He had to put his jewelry career on hold to serve in World War II with the U.S. Army. Ted was stationed in General MacArthur’s Headquarters assigned to the Adjutant General’s department, Radio and Cable, in Japan. He particularly enjoyed this early phase of his military career in Japan and thankfully saw little action. Ted returned to Elko as a Staff Sergeant in 1946, but was soon nominated as the Commander of the American Legion Post at the age of 21, becoming the youngest post commander in U.S. history and the subject of national news. In 1948 he reactivated the Elko National Guard and in 1975 organized the 221st Transportation Battalion until 1978 when he retired from the military as a full Colonel. Just prior to his death he received a certificate honoring his 70 years with The American Legion of Elko, Post 7.
Within this time period Ted was also very involved in the jewelry business and the Elko community, having earned a Certified Gemologist Degree from the Gemological Institute of America, and expanding the Blohm Jeweler’s store with his wife, Lina, to its present location in their professional building at the corner of 5th and Idaho Streets in Downtown Elko. He served on the Elko City Council from 1977 to 1981, served on the Board of Directors of the Great Basin College Foundation and the Northeastern Nevada Regional Hospital Board, was president of the Rotary Club of Elko, the Navy League and the local ski club. Ted was also a member of the re-established Order of Elks.
Ted’s greatest passion for many years was flying his pressurized Piper Malibu airplane “in the clouds” as a private pilot having studied many hours for a hard earned Pilot Instrument Rating. Ted also enjoyed outdoor sports, achieving the honor of Professional Ski Instructor with his downhill snow skiing prowess, working the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics. He was an avid “scratch” golfer up until the last few years; and chukkar hunting with his good friends Leo Morandi and Charlie Chester. And, last but definitely not least, he dedicated 20 years to the Elko County School District as a Northeastern Nevada Official, officiating at both football and basketball high school games.
However, Ted did find time for family, as his loving daughters and grandchildren were the highlight of his long enjoyed life. Ted is survived by his wife, Lina; daughters, Deborah, Woodland Hills, CA; Nicole, Woodland Hills, CA; and Dr. Kristina Rudgear, Scottsdale, AZ; five grandchildren; Cameron, Harrison, Sofia, Aspen and Andrew. He is also survived by his nephew, Walter Blohm, Florence, OR and great-nephew, Josh Blohm, Sacramento, Ca, (son and grandson of Walter Blohm II); nephew, David Blohm; Ted’s brother who preceded him in death.
With deep gratitude and appreciation the family wished to extend their thanks to Dr. Paton Whimple, Gloria and staff; Dr. John Gull, Patty and staff; Dr. Brad Burlew and staff and Dr. John Patton and staff for their very committed and professional care. To personal caregivers: Alejandra Coronado, Julisa Alvares, Eva Cervantes, Angel Courville, Aileen Penrod, Judi Robison and Billie Jean of Horizon Hospice; nurses Leah and Candace and CNA Reed of Genesis Home Health, who will always have a place in our hearts.
Services with full Military Honors will take place at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Saturday April 21, with a viewing starting at 10:30 a.m. with the service to follow.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Elko American Legion Post 7, War Veterans fund, in care of Jim Byars, 1916 View Drive, Elko or the Elko Boys and Girls Club.