She was born on September 1, 1932 in Omaha and was joyfully adopted as a newborn by Fred and Irene Anderson of Fremont. Growing up here she made many friends that lasted a lifetime. She attended Fremont High School, graduating in 1950.
She married Russel Bloemker on October 15, 1950 and the couple soon moved to the Hooper area to Farm. Being a town girl, the challenges she faced as the bride of a farmer were unfamiliar. She learned about raising a garden and fruit trees, canning and freezing, as well as growing an impressive flower garden from seed. She raised chickens, and helped Russ with the dairy cows, even churning butter with her electric mixer. She helped with chores and learned how to butcher chickens. She was known for her baking; Danish pastry and freshly baked bread were specialties. Soon there were children too. She sewed most of the family's clothing, including the rickrack embellished square dance dresses she wore when she and Russ went dancing. Life was busy and she never ran out of things to do.
In 1965 the family moved to Fremont and later Le began working at JC Penney at the brand new Fremont Mall. She particularly enjoyed catching shoplifters. Around that time she also started playing bridge which she enjoyed for many years to come. She had a sharp mind and enjoyed puzzles of all kinds. Trips to the library were a weekly event.
In the early 1970's Le took her first painting class and was hooked immediately. She took every class she could through the newly forming Fremont Area Art Association and painted every chance she had, often using family members for models. After just a few years, she was able to quit her job and paint full time, traveling to art shows all over the eastern half of the country to display and sell her paintings. She sometimes travelled alone, but often invited a fellow artist, friend, or grandchild along for company and free labor. It was hard work but she loved it, making sure to do everything she could to market her work.
This included offering 15 minute charcoal portraits for $10 (later $15) to draw people to her booth. It was a kind of performance art because people would gather behind her to watch her work. One customer, watching Le work, was rudely critical of the sketch Le was doing of her son, so Le assured her she had no obligation to buy it and ripped it in two, and calmly went on to the next customer, leaving the young mother wordlessly open mouthed.
Having worked in acrylic, oils and watercolor, having done portraits, landscapes and still life, Le found that abstract art interested her more and eventually painted exclusively abstracts. At that time abstracts weren't particularly popular and they were a tough sell. But sell they did and she was thrilled that people wanted to own and display her work in their homes. One of the highlights of her life was a one woman art show for her home town, held at the Fremont Area Art Association. It was all abstracts, and viewed collectively, had an overall impact that was quite impressive.
Le had many friends among the local art community, as well as reconnecting with more far-flung artist friends at shows and workshops. After Russ retired, he travelled with her and they both enjoyed doing art shows, packing her truck with a display tent, paintings, and all the many things they needed to create a pop up art gallery every weekend or two. It was heavy, often hot work and became more taxing as they got older. It was a sad day for Le when she finally closed her art studio and quit travelling to shows. But it would be many years before she gave up painting.
Le had always loved travel and trips with her daughters and daughter-in-law to Minnesota, Arizona, Maine and Washington were bright spots in her memories. After Russ passed away in December 2010, needing a lift, she agreed to accompany her daughter and son-in-law on an Alaskan cruise. She invited a friend, also recently widowed, to keep her company. Those two ladies had a blast, charming the ship's crew and even the captain. Le also loved music and among her favorite memories was attending her son's church and hearing his praise band play and sing, which she was able to do one last time a few months before her death.
Le's church family and her faith were important to her and her weekly Bible Study group was especially so. The women in that Thursday morning group never forgot her even when Le's health began to fail and she had to move into a care facility. One week before her death, those kind and loving friends visited her as a group to have coffee and she loved it! Her favorite Pastor was a frequent visitor as well.
Le is survived by her children Lynn (Bernie) Mruz, Steve (Lil) Bloemker and Stacey (Mitch) Arps as well as four grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, sister-in-law Donna Bloemker and brother-in-law Lowell Bloemker. She was preceded in death by her husband Russ and grandson Andy Mruz.
The memorial service will be 1pm, Tuesday, August 1, 2023 at the Ludvigsen Mortuary Chapel in Fremont. The Rev. Kyle McClellan will officiate. Burial will be in Ridge Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Fremont Area Art Association or the Grace Church PCA in Fremont. The family will receive friends at the funeral home 1 hour before the service.
Online guestbook at www.Ludvigsenmortuary.com