Margie Ann (Berkland) Blake died on June 21st at the age of 80 surrounded by her four daughters and family. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 AM Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at the Trinity Lutheran Church with Pastor Kathy Graves officiating. A luncheon reception will follow at the church. All are welcome to come and celebrate Marge’s life. A private family burial will be at St. John’s Cemetery in Cylinder, Iowa. Visitation will be held from 4 until 7 PM Monday at the Major Erickson Funeral Home. Memorials may be directed to Hospice of North Iowa or Trinity Lutheran Church in Mason City, Iowa. Condolences can be sent to: Prairie Place on First, 320 1st St. NE, #101, Mason City, Iowa 50401. The family would like to thank the caregivers and staff of Mercy Hospital and Hospice of North Iowa for their care and dedication.
Marge is survived by her brother Truman (Karen) Berkland of Plattsmouth, NE., by her children, Carmen (Bob) Hamilton of Eden Prairie, MN, Connie (Rex) Kerns of Oelwein, Iowa, Cristy Blake of Minneapolis, MN and Cathy (Marcus) Spotts of Nora Springs, Iowa and by her grandchildren Caitlin and Claire Hamilton, Blake (Anna), Mason and Ben Kerns, Lauren and Jacob Garrison, and Blake, Mac and Reggi Spotts, and great grandchildren Cash and Jet Kerns. She is preceded in death by her husband Richard Blake and her parents, Arthur and Gertie Berkland.
Marge was born on March 15, 1937 on the family farm near Cylinder, Iowa and graduated from Rodman High School in1955, where she was first chair clarinet and a “scrapper” guard for the 6 on 6 basketball team. She was awarded the All-State Basketball Team “Honorable Mention” her senior year. She married Richard Blake in 1956. Marge received her AA teaching degree from Buena Vista College in 1957 and her BA teaching degree from Luther College in 1977. She was an elementary school teacher for over 38 years before retiring in 2002 in Nora Springs/Rock Falls, IA. She was awarded the Golden Apple Award in 1998 and was Iowa Reading Teacher of the Year in 2002.
Marge was as extraordinary a teacher as she was a mother and grandmother. Her kindness and patience were her disciplinary power. Marge was a strong woman and the family continues to learn from her. She was the epitome of unconditional love and the rock to her four girls. Her home was always a safe place… full of comfort, food, and love.
Marge was an active and dedicated member of Trinity Lutheran Church. After her retirement, she spent many hours volunteering at the church. She was the director of the Hospital Flower Ministry Committee, and was a member of the Lydia’s Women’s Circle and the Prayer Chain. As a member of Mason City’s PEO Chapter IY, she met many new friends and continued her dedication to education for all.
In her later years, Marge was able to travel to Norway and enjoyed annual trips to Florida with her cousins, Arlet and Lois. Marge loved all things Hollywood and Country Music was her ultimate fun activity. She was always ready to go to the latest movie or concert with friends or family. She also looked forward to playing card and board games with her grandchildren, family and friends. All ten grandchildren were special to her in their own way.