Jeannette “Jay” Blackhall, age 101, a lifelong resident of Rensselaer, Indiana went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday evening, March 24, 2023. She was born in Rensselaer on December 2, 1921 to Joseph Nesius and Lillian (Zacher) Nesius.
She was a graduate of Rensselaer High School and went on to attend business school in Northern Indiana. On January 15, 1944 she married Gordon L. Blackhall in San Francisco, California.
Jeannette was a librarian at St. Joseph’s College for over 25 years until her retirement in 1994. She was very kind to the students and took several in over the years, giving them a home away from home. She loved the college and was a St. Joseph’s College Fellow.
She was a faithful member of St. Augustine Catholic Church and served in the Christian Women’s Ministry. She volunteered with the Jasper County Hospital Auxiliary for many years. She enjoyed sewing, reading, playing cards, and making countless memories with family and close friends around her kitchen table.
She was an inspirational woman; raising her young daughters after her husband passed away and becoming the foundation for her family’s closeness.
She enjoyed traveling domestically to visit her family who are scattered throughout the country. Her favorite movie was “Gone with the Wind,” and she embodied Scarlette O’Hara’s balance of tenacity & gentleness.
She is survived by two daughters, Julie Birkmeyer of Kansas and Kelly Bocwinski (Greg) of Virginia; seven grandchildren: Lori Worline (John), Greg Gilmore, Kevin Gilmore, Gordon Weliky (Adrienne), Barry Jay Birkmeyer, Dr. Baylee Birkmeyer (Jeb), and Rachel Bocwinski. Four great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews also survive.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Gordon L. Blackhall; three daughters: Sue Gilmore, Cathy Weliky, and Kim Blackhall; three sons-in-law: Bill Gilmore, Bill “Stretch” Weliky and Barry Birkmeyer; two grandsons, Tad Gilmore and Michael Bocwinski; one great-grandson, Gregory Gilmore; her parents, Gordon and Lillian Nesius; six siblings; and her lifelong friend, Elmer J. Phegley.
Visitation will be Thursday, March 30, 2023 from 4-7:30 p.m. CDT at Steinke Funeral Home of Rensselaer. A Rosary Service will follow at 7:30 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, March 31, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. CDT at St. Augustine Catholic Church with Father Joshua Bennett officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Steinke Funeral Home is honored to be handling the arrangements. Memories, photos and condolences may be shared with the family at www.SteinkeFuneralHome.com.