Donna L. “Rara” Blashill served as an Army nurse in Vietnam.
Blashill, who retired after five years as a captain, was an Intensive Care Unit post-surgical nurse working 12-hour shifts seven days a week, her husband Ron Blashill said.
Daughter Kristi Blashill said her mother volunteered to serve because “our guys were getting hurt and she needed to be helping.”
During Desert Storm, Blashill told her family if there was a draft she would go in her son Sean’s place.
Married 43 years, the Blashills met while stationed in Landstuhl, Germany. Both worked at Second General Hospital. Blashill told him she wanted to remodel her apartment.
He helped, and has been making stuff for her ever since, daughter Kristi Blashill said.
The couple built their home together.
A nurse for 46 years, Blashill, 68, of Hammond, worked at Munster Med-Inn, in home health care services and finally 10 years as a hospice nurse.
“She was a very caring person,” Ron Blashill said. “She was concerned about everybody’s well-being and how they were doing.”
Blashill loved spending time with her grandchildren, sewing for them and decorating her home inside and out for every holiday especially Christmas. She made doll clothes and bedding which matched her granddaughter’s curtains and bedding and treasured quilts for her children and grandchildren.
“She could reupholster furniture, she could fabricate anything, her ingenuity was just top notch,” Heather Kabrud said. “She was multi-talented and creative.”
Also a nurse, Kristi Blashill said her mom taught her compassion and how to help dying patients and their families.
Blashill insisted on family meals with no interruptions accepted. An avid fisherman, she enjoyed tatting, crocheting, gardening, playing cards, traveling around the world and to national parks, historic sites and monuments, reading, and the family’s annual fishing trips to Pine Beach Resort in LaPorte, Minnesota for 30 years.
Her family said they will especially miss her companionship and her kitchen table conversations.