Marilyn Blew

Obituary of Marilyn W. 'Lynn' Blew

Marilyn W. 'Lynn' Blew, nee Whitehead, of Palos Heights, Illinois, and Vero Beach, Florida, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 13, 2021, at the age of 91. Born in Blue Island, Illinois, on July 13, 1929, Lynn was always attached to the South Side of Chicago. Later in life, she and her husband, Bill (William R.), spent over half the year in Vero Beach, Florida, but they always returned to their family and friends in Palos Heights for holidays as well as the warmer summer months. Lynn attended Blue Island High School followed by Morgan Park Junior College, where she met her husband of 68 years. They married in 1950 while he was attending Purdue University. Their daughters, Susan and Betsy, arrived in 1952 and 1955. Daughter Jane followed in 1964. They moved to Palos Heights in 1956, where they kept the same home until their deaths. As was typical in the 1950’s and early 60’s, Lynn was a homemaker and mother. She would spend time every day after her daughters came home from school talking with them about their day, their friends and their activities. She always encouraged her daughters by telling them they could accomplish whatever they wanted. Plagued with self-doubt about her lack of education and wanting to contribute to the family’s income, Lynn went back to school in 1968, first attending Moraine Valley Community College and later transferring to Saint Xavier’s University, where she completed her B.A. in education in 1973. Lynn then taught first, second and fourth grades in the Palos Elementary school system, retiring in 1991. As a younger student, Lynn had struggled with math and was unsure how she would make it through college math courses, but she was determined to succeed. As a teacher she dedicated herself to assuring that every child who came through her classes understood all math concepts before she sent them on, exemplifying the “no child left behind” philosophy. She became such an excellent teacher of math that Palos Schools asked her to coach the Mathletes. Under her supervision, they won first place at the State competition. As recently as last year, she received notes from former students saying that she had been their favorite teacher. After retirement, Lynn and Bill traveled the world extensively and visited every continent except Antarctica. They spent more and more of each year in Florida, purchasing a home in Vero Beach in 1996 where there was always an open door to friends and family. Known for their interest in the world, their generosity, and their fun and gregarious personalities, they made friends easily during their travels and in Vero Beach. Lynn was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. Fortunately, it progressed slowly, and she always knew her family members and was happiest when she was surrounded by them. She was predeceased by her husband, Bill Blew (in 2018), her parents Alma and Robert J. Whitehead, and her brother, Bob Whitehead. She is survived by her three children: Susan Blew (Dennis Puglisi) of Berkeley, California, Betsy Blew-Ochoa (Rogelio Ochoa) of Palos Heights, and Jane Blew Healy (Mike Healy) of Blue Island; her grandchildren Gianmarco and Jacoby (Rachel McQueen) Puglisi, Dany Ochoa (Justin Marshall) and Alex Ochoa Halleran (Ryan), Will (Lana Patke), Katie, and Genevieve Healy; and her great-grandchild and best Facetime buddy, Connor Halleran. Lynn was a beloved mother and grandmother, and she will be missed. The family is extremely grateful to her dedicated team of caregivers: Holly, Chris, Jurga, and Jolanta, who have supported the family and enabled Lynn to remain at home these past years. A memorial service will be held at the Church of the Transfiguration at 12219 S. 86th Avenue in Palos Park on Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made to St. Xavier University in Chicago or to the charity of your choice.