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Margaret Mary Blake


Margaret Mary Blake

Born: June 10, 1921
Died: July 19, 2019


Date: Wednesday, July 24    4 – 7:00 p.m.

Location: Visitation Catholic Church, Stacyville

Funeral Service

Date: Thursday, July 25     10:30 a.m.
Location: Visitation Catholic Church, Stacyville


Date: July 25, 2019
Location: Visitation Cemetery


After 98 years on this earth, Margaret Blake has journeyed to her final home. Her life’s work done, Margaret died peacefully on July 19, 2019 at Stacyville Community Nursing Home in Stacyville, IA. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at 10:30am at Visitation Catholic Church in Stacyville with Msgr. John Hemann officiating. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4-7pm at the same location. Burial will be at the Visitation Catholic Church cemetery following services.  

Born June 10th, 1921 to Mathias and Maggie (Smith) Bissen, she grew up in the Stacyville/Johnsburg area riding to school in Johnsburg with her siblings in a horse drawn buggy. Following the death of her parents in 1939, she left the Bissen family home to work as a dietary aide at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Carroll, IA and later at a munitions plant in Milwaukee, WI during WWII. At a bowery dance in Johnsburg MN in 1941, she met the love of her life, Alex Blake. When Alex joined the US Navy, a young independent Margaret criss-crossed the country to meet her sweetheart in every port possible.. After receiving her engagement ring from Alex by mail, they married on October 17, 1944 and after Alex’s military service ended, they settled into farming in the Mitchell County area. Nine daughters were born of this union. In retrospect, these grown now agree that Margaret’s resourcefulness, creativity and boundless energy that kept the home fires burning were amazing feats which were not fully appreciated
until adulthood. 

Margaret was a member of the Stacyville American Legion Auxiliary, active in the Visitation Catholic Christian Mothers, the Thread Clippers Quilt Club and Morning Glories Bowling group. She will be remembered for her strength and “can-do” attitude, never shying away from learning new tasks like rewiring lamps, caning chairs, refurbishing furniture, bowling and golfing. Margaret was a gifted quilter, having spent many hours hand stitching beautiful quilts in addition to sewing many of her daughters’ clothing items. Her mouth-watering angel food cakes and homemade chocolate chip cookies were a source of great pride and a target for hungry family and friends. 

After moving off the farm in rural Stacyville in 1983, Margaret and Alex enjoyed traveling and  tending to the flowers in the backyard of their home where family and friends were welcomed for conversation, laughter and often, a cold beer. Margaret moved to the SCNH in 2014 and she never failed to tell visitors how much she continued to enjoy her life there.  

Margaret is survived by Alex, her husband of nearly 75 years and nine daughters: Trudy (Levy) Scott of Santa Fe, NM, Elaine (Greg) White, Midland, MI, Jane (Kirby) Moses St. Ansgar, IA, Karen (Doug) Brumm, Toeterville, IA, Julie (Al) Barkley, Pittsburgh, PA, Linda (Mike) Mullenbach, St. Ansgar, IA, Kristy Kudrna, Manchester. IA, Geri (Phil) Brumm, Stacyville, IA, Lu (John) Groth, St. Ansgar, IA. Also surviving are grandchildren: Sondra Scott, Julie (Pat)  Murtha, Amy (Dan) Buzzell, Colleen White, Krista O’Geary, Kara (Joe) Walk, Micki (Bryan) Christianson, Brian (Michelle) Horgen, Kody (Ali) Moses, Kyle Moses, Carl Brumm and Bert Brumm, Alex Barkley, Joe (Renee) Barkley, Al Mullenbach, Tony Mullenbach, Bruce(Kely)Hemann, Blake (Alli) Hemann, Nicole Kudrna, Clint (Jenna Goodale) Brumm, Chase Brumm, Jacob( Ashley Pearce) Groth, Gusty(Keith) Adams and Sadie Groth. 

In addition, there are 30 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. Also, surviving is Margaret’s sister, Sister Marydel Bissen, LaCrosse, WI, brother, Fred Bissen of Stacyville, IA and many nieces, nephews and friends. 

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, Mathias and Maggie Bissen, sisters, Agnes Bissen, Rosina Koenigs, Sister Julia Bissen and Martha Heinrichs. 

In lieu of flowers, Margaret has requested memorials be sent to the Stacyville Community Nursing
Home in Stacyville, IA. 







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