Margaret Blake

Margaret C. Blake, 93, of Dorchester passed Wednesday, January 8, 2020. Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 18 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dorchester with Rev. Jerry Blake officiating. Visitation will be held before the service, from 9-11 a.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Burial arrangements will be determined at a later date.  Fellowship and lunch will be at the Waukon Banquet Center following the service.

Margaret C. Hammell was born September 21, 1926. She was born on the family farm on the Sand Cove near New Albin, the daughter of Cornelius “Con” and Mary T. (Wall) Hammell. During WWII, at the age of 17, she was hired to be a teacher in a one-room school near Iowa River Road.

Margaret married Patrick Blake April 25, 1943 and they moved to a farm near Dorchester. The couple was blessed with 13 surviving children. Tragically, Pat was killed in a farming accident September 24, 1963, leaving Margaret to raise their children and run the farm. With hard work and the help of her children, family and friends, she rose to the challenge and the family thrived. When the children were a little older, Margaret attended college at NICC in Calmar seeking further education in business.  She then worked as a bookkeeper at the Decorah Hospital and the Modern Woodman Insurance Agency in Waukon.

In 1998, when Margaret was 71 years old, she moved to southern Missouri near her daughter’s home. She attended Crowder College in Neosho, MO for the completion of her teaching certificate. She then became the director of a daycare center in Bentonville, AR for 10 years. She loved working with children and watching them grow.  When she retired, Margaret became a snowbird between Iowa and Texas where she enjoyed spending time with her family. She was always a busy, hardworking woman, willing to watch the grandkids, pick up a paint brush, a shovel or a chainsaw. She also never shied away from encouraging everyone else to pitch in.

Margaret was a lifelong member of St Mary’s Catholic Church and loved her church and her church family. She was an inspiring and faith-filled woman who cared deeply about her family and friends. In her spare time, Margaret enjoyed spending time with her large family, attending church, gardening and quilting. She made many quilts for her church bazaar, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Margaret was a woman of strong character and the matriarch of a great family. She was easy to love and laugh with. She will be missed by many.

Margaret is survived by her children: Connie (Dave) Pecinovsky, Patricia (Gene) Burroughs, Edward (Mary) Blake, Judith (Norman) Bailey, Diane (Terry) McKenna, Larry (Susie) Blake, Kay (Bernie) Pecinovsky, Pat (Sandy) Blake, Tom (Martha) Blake, Mike Blake, Chris (Jim) Hackman, Mary Ann (Mark) Brodahl and Bill (Rose) Blake; 50 grandchildren; 73 great-grandchildren, 20 great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Walter (Betty) Hammell; and an aunt, Betty Wall.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Patrick; her daughter, Marilyn; her son, John; her grandchildren, James McKenna, Stacy Blake, Tyler Blake and Tony Vick; four great-grandchildren; two brothers, John Hammell and Ray Hammell; two sisters, Mary Blake and Agnes Troendle; numerous brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; and her special friend, Vic Byrnes.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church Cemetery in Dorchester for restorations.

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