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Marjorie Kerstiens-Blossom - The Chaffee County Times: Obituaries

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Marjorie Kerstiens-Blossom

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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:00 am

Marjorie Kerstiens-Blossom, 87, joined U.S. Navy as a nurse corpsman in 1944, career nurse for 32 years.

Former Buena Vista resident Marjorie Kerstiens-Blossom, 87, passed away in Durango, Feb. 23, 2012, following a short battle with cancer and a long wonderful life.

She was the mother of former long-time resident Verna Gross. 

Marjorie Anna Kerstiens  was born to Benjamin and Beulah (McBride) Heye, April 18, 1924, on a homestead in Wauneta, Neb. During her childhood she also lived in Kansas and moved to Denver in 1936, where she attended Bancroft school and graduated Bear Creek High School in 1942.

She joined the U.S. Navy as a nurse corpsman in 1944, receiving special training in New York before being transferred to Hutchinson, Kan., Naval Air Base, where she was stationed until her honorable discharge in 1946. She was always extremely proud of being a veteran and her service to her country during World War II. 

She returned to Denver and married a childhood friend, Frank Kerstiens on Nov. 23, 1946. They moved to a dairy farm north of Simla, where they had two children, Lyle, born in 1950 and Verna, in 1955.  

In 1957 they moved into Simla and she started her nursing career working at The Good Samaritan Center nursing home as an evening shift charge nurse. She worked there until her retirement in 1989.  

During her time at the Good Samaritan Center she was loved and respected as a kind and compassionate nurse and taught many nurse aides who went on to become compassionate nurses and caregivers.  Frank preceded her in death on Sept 25, 1984.

Following her retirement she moved to Buena Vista, where her daughter Verna lived. It was there that she met and married Wayne Blossom on Aug. 10, 1994, and they enjoyed traveling and having a winter residence in Truth or Consequences, N.M. until Wayne’s death in 2004.  

During her time in Buena Vista, she was involved in AARP, Young at Heart, VFW auxiliary, American Legion Post No. 55 and any card group she could help organize, especially if pennies were involved.  

She was an avid card player and loved Friday night bingo at the American Legion.  She rarely missed watching Denver Bronco football and amazingly knew most of the players by name and position.  She was a member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic church.  

In December 2006, she moved along with Verna and her husband John to Durango, where she lived in a senior apartment and made many new friends and helped organize a canasta group.

In addition to her two husbands, she is preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Vincent and Benjamin Jr. (Bud) Heye, one step-grandson, Jon Garcia, one great-grandson, Ayden Busch and many other family members and long-time friends.

She is survived by one brother William (Bonnie) Heye of Denver, son Lyle (Teresa) Kerstiens of Santa Fe, N.M., daughter Verna (John) Gross of Durango, seven grandchildren (Erica, Eron, Benjamin, Jacob, Angela, Monica, and Jennifer), 11 great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and several cousins. She was lovingly referred to as “grandma great” by her beloved great-grandchildren.

She has donated her body to science at the University of Arizona Medical School and her cremains were laid to rest with her husband Frank at Ft. Logan National Cemetery in Denver, following a celebration of her life and Mass of Christian Burial at St. Columba Catholic Church in Durango.

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