Robert L. Blasko, 95, passed away peacefully and surrounded by love on Thursday, July 20. Shortly after he took his last breath, a beautiful rainbow appeared in the skies above Cleveland as Bob was ushered into heaven.
Bob was born on September 24, 1927, in Parma, Ohio, to John and Anna Blasko, who immigrated to the United States from Austria-Hungary. He served in the US Army from 1945-1947, joining on the tail end of World War II, where he was stationed in Panama to defend the Canal. More than six decades later, Bob was proud to return to the site of his service and sail through the international waterway he helped to protect.
After graduating from (Case) Western Reserve in 1950, he entered the business world as an industrial salesman. He held several executive positions before retiring as Executive Vice President of a firm in Saginaw, Michigan, where he raised five children with his wife Marie before she died in 1998.
Bob gave his time and business acumen freely to civic and non-profit organizations in the two cities he called home – Saginaw, MI, and Cleveland, OH. He served on the Board of Saints Peter & Paul Area High School in Saginaw, Mi (Nouvel Catholic High) for nine years, with five of those as president; he was a 14-year Advisory Board Member of Luther Manor in Saginaw, MI chairing the fundraising committee and successfully raising $900,000 for building improvement projects; and he was a dedicated Lutheran who served as the Financial Manager for churches in both Saginaw and Cleveland over 24 years. He was very proud of his nine years as a volunteer ombudsman with the State of Ohio Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman, where he advocated for people receiving home care, assisted living, and nursing home care.
He returned to Cleveland as a widower in 2001 and built a beautiful and prosperous life filled with old and new friends and a social network envied by those much younger. He enjoyed all his friends at the Peter B. Lewis Community Center and never missed his water aerobics class with the ladies, where he maintained his status as the most eligible bachelor until his death. He is missed but remembered for his smile, sparkling eyes, kind acts, sharp wit, handsome looks, dapper style, and Cadillac with the RLB license plate.
Bob was preceded in death by his beautiful wife, Marie Spring Blasko, his parents, and sisters, Louise Lelii (Justin) and Edith Licht (Walter). He leaves behind his children Kimberly Blasko of Midland, MI, Marie Blasko McCabe of Mayfield Heights, OH, Susan Durgan (Jeff) of Lansing, MI, Robert Blasko Jr of Greenville, SC, and William Blasko (Joanna) of Chicago, IL.
Nothing brought him more joy than spending time with his six beautiful grandchildren: Lauren McCabe (fiancé Mike) of Philadelphia, PA; Conor Durgan of Charlotte, NC; Brianna Blasko Wright (Kelsey) of Anderson, SC; Kieran Durgan of Huntsville, AL, Marie Spring Blasko of Greenville, SC, and Chloe Spring Durgan of Chicago, Il.
He never missed a birthday, graduation, or special event. He loved to watch his grandsons play hockey, and if the game was within a 5-state region, he was there cheering. He was immensely proud of all his children and grandchildren who brought him such delight, and he was grateful for his granddaughter Brianna, LPN, who cared for him toward the end of his life.
The family will receive guests on August 3 from 4-7 p.m. at DeJohn Funeral Home, 28890 Chardon Road, Willoughby Hills, OH. The service is on Friday, August 4, at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home. The family will host a brunch after the service, followed by a 1:30 p.m. burial at All Souls Cemetery in Chardon, where he will rest beside his wife, Marie.
Donations may be made in his name to Luther Manor in Saginaw, St. John’s Lutheran Church in South Euclid, Trinity Lutheran Church in Willoughby and Our Savior Lutheran Church in Mayfield Heights.