Helen Joanne Blomeley
Published 8:47 am Thursday, June 2, 2022
Mill Spring– Helen Joanne Wittschiebe Blomeley, 89, a long-time resident of Mill Spring, NC, passed away peacefully on May 18, 2022.
Born in New York state on April 6, 1933, to Charles and Violet (Doll) Wittschiebe, she soon found herself the child of Seventh-day Adventist missionaries in China. During WWII, the family (now including younger sister Jeannine) was imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp near Manila for 3-½ years. They were eventually liberated by General Douglas McArthur during his campaign to retake the Philippines. After returning to the US, Helen attended Collegedale Academy in Tennessee, where she met her teenaged future husband, of whom she was NOT enamored at the time. She later graduated from Washington Missionary College with a BS in Nursing and then received a Master of Science in Nursing from Catholic University. In August of 1956, she married Charles P. Blomeley, who had pursued her single-mindedly for the better part of ten years, and she taught nursing for seven years at Catholic U while he attended college and medical school. In 1964, they welcomed a daughter (Heather). In 1966 Charles completed his internship and they welcomed a son (Kevin) and relocated to Columbus, NC, where he partnered with Dr. Roy Morgan in Family Practice. In 1969 they welcomed a second son (Geoff), and in 1974 they moved from Columbus to a 75-acre farm in Mill Spring, where she resided until her death. Helen worked at St. Luke’s Hospital for over 30 years in multiple roles, including surgical nursing and the emerging specialty of Infection Control (she was known as the “Bug Lady”), and was pivotal in the implementation of the Medicare Swing Bed Program there – a venture that many credit with the survival of the hospital in the 1980s and 90s – before retiring in 2008. She and her husband were passionate lifelong naturalists and pioneering wildlife rehabilitators in the region, well known for their extensive and constantly changing collection of critters.
She was preceded in death in 2013 by her husband of 57 years and the love of her life, Dr. Charles P. Blomeley. She is survived by sister Jeannine Showalter and husband Stan of Three Oaks, MI; brother Liston Steele and wife Nancy of Huntington Beach, CA; daughter Capt. Heather I. Blomeley (USNR, Retired), an anesthesiologist, of Mill Spring; son Detective III Charles Kevin Blomeley (LAPD, Retired) and wife Jennifer of Mill Spring; son Geoffrey S. Blomeley and wife Ashley of Blue Ridge, GA; and four grandchildren, Ava Rushford, Emma Blomeley, Ryan Blomeley, and Autumn Blomeley.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, June 5, at 4:00 PM at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tryon, NC. A reception will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Emergency Medical Services of Polk County, Upstate Community Hospice House in Landrum, and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).
An online guest register is available at www.mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com
McFarland Funeral Chapel