Harold Arthur Blume died on Thursday, March 4, 2021 at home in the presence of his loving family. Friends and family are invited to view the pre-recorded online memorial service at their convenience which will be posted here once completed. Rather than memorials, the family requests that you keep Harold’s memory alive in your heart by living a life guided by kindness and empathy.
Harold was born on September 10, 1929 to Walter and Hulda (Lehman) Blume at the family farm near the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. Harold was the only boy, the youngest of four children. He was very grateful for his older sisters who doted on him and treated him exceedingly well, entertaining and teaching him. He loved them dearly and later mentioned that no one had nicer sisters. He attended a one room schoolhouse near the farm, where his teachers boarded at his home during his first 8 years of school. That experience helped develop his love for life-long learning. The farm was a busy place and there was always a lot to do milking cows and raising grain crops. The family was very active in the Lutheran Church and other community and regional affairs.
More than a hobby, writing was Harold’s passion. His interest in writing was inspired by his sisters and teachers. Edna LaMoore Waldo, one of his teachers and a published book author, took Harold under her wing. He said “she worked overtime trying to make a success out of me.” Harold succeeded in having several magazine articles published. For 50 years, he wrote weekly letters from home to all of his children, grandchildren and close friends. He also corresponded regularly with his third-grade teacher until she died a couple years ago at the age of 101. Harold was also known for writing warm heartfelt poetry for special occasions to the delight of close friends and family.
Harold arrived at North Dakota State University in Fargo on the same day he finished combining the wheat crop. He met the woman of his dreams, Gladys Mabel (Volbrecht) Blume at a Grace Lutheran Church party and it was love at first sight. They married 15 months later at a lovely wedding in Fargo. Harold wrote, “she exuded peace, calm and joy. It was like heaven just to be near her.” After graduating with a degree in Agricultural Economics, he and Gladys moved to the Blume family farm, where Harold grew up. Together, they shared a storied life, raising 5 children and operating the farm in a supportive and loving environment. Harold was grateful for the opportunity to operate the farm with the assistance of his close friends Cal Clouse and Arvin Swanson for 50 years. As hardworking as he was, he always found the time to bond with family. Whether it was a vacation, snowmobiling, fishing, or relaxing at home, Harold valued quality time with those he loved, and these memories will always be cherished by his children and grandchildren.
During the Kennedy administration, Harold was appointed to serve as a member of the state committee for the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, an agency of the USDA, later serving as chairman. During this busy time in his life, he relied on his good friend, Roger Dozark to manage the farm. In 1961 he was honored to meet President John F Kennedy, whom he deeply admired, in the White House Rose Garden. In 1967 he served as a member of the United States wheat mission to seven countries in Western Europe.
Harold served a term as President for the following organizations: Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church in Minot North Dakota, North Dakota District Walther League, Tatman Township Farmers Union, Minot Vocational Adjustment Workshop, and Minot Farmers Market Association.
He transitioned from active farming at the age of 58, becoming a licensed investment broker and ultimately worked with Raymond James Financial Services in Minot. Following his retirement in 2009 at the age of 80, Harold And Gladys settled in Keizer, Oregon.
Harold’s treasures were God, family, and friends and he formed new friendships wherever he went. He particularly enjoyed visiting with high school classmates, clients, and customers from the farmer’s market. One of Harold and Gladys’s long standing traditions was late night coffee in Minot at Perkins or Schatz Truck Stop. In later years, they kept up the tradition at Shari’s Restaurant in Keizer, Oregon with afternoon tea (and perhaps a slice of marionberry pie) rather than late night coffee.
Blessed with an exceptional memory till his final days (seemingly better than anyone else in the family), he always had an infinite number of stories to tell and served as historian to many families. Humbly, he was forever grateful for what he had. With health declining in his final years, Harold reflected on a conversation he had many years prior with Kim Rodacker which greatly influenced him. Kim maintained that the best gift he himself could give others was a non-complaining and non-judgmental attitude. The memory of Harold, his love of family, loyalty, humor, and the stories he left behind will live long in the hearts of those who knew him for years to come.
Harold was preceded in death by his sweetheart, the love of his life, Gladys Blume, who died on April 17, 2019. He is survived by five children and seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. The children are Fredrik Blume and Gloria Harwig of Ocala FL, David and Julie Blume of Kathryn ND, Daniel and Jennifer Blume of Beaverton OR, Mary and Jefferson DeFerrari of Silverton OR, and Roger and Elena Blume of Sammamish WA. His grandchildren are Aaron Blume of Surprise AZ, Lauren Blume and Richard Saunders of Burlington VT, Stephan Blume with sons Logan and Leo of Perham MN, Clinton Blume of The Woodlands TX, Hannah Blume of Beaverton OR, Michael Blume of Pleasanton CA, and Ava Blume of Sammamish WA.
Digital Memorial Service to be posted here at a later date. Please check back.