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Barbara Tekla  Blendy

Obituary for Barbara Tekla Blendy

July 28, 1933 - May 20, 2020
Chesapeake City, Maryland | Age 86


Chesapeake City, MD – Barbara Tekla Blendy, a faithful soul and lifelong parishioner of St. Basil's Ukrainian Catholic Church, peacefully passed away on May 20, 2020 at the age of 86.

Born on July 28, 1933 in Chesapeake City, Barbara was the youngest of her siblings: Joseph (who only lived a few days), Nick, Mike, Mary, Anne, Harry, Bill, and Mildred. After graduating from high school in 1951, Barbara immediately began her career as an accomplished secretary. For six years, she worked at the Bainbridge Naval Training Center until the government closed the office in 1957. From 1957 to 1958, Barbara continued her secretarial work as a civil servant in Aberdeen, Maryland until she was hired for an advanced secretarial position by the DuPont Engineering Department (Louviers Division) in Delaware. She later transferred her secretarial skills to the Thiokol Chemical Corporation in Elkton, Maryland where she continued working until 1960.

In 1956, Barbara met and fell in love with Marion Kent "Kenny" Hodges, who was a Golden Gloves Boxer. Joe Louis, the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, asked Kenny to be his sparring partner. However, Kenny declined in favor of becoming successful in the auto industry. In 1960, Kenny and Barbara joyfully welcomed the arrival of Barbara's only child, Barbara Marie Blendy.

After devoting the next 20 years to the care of her daughter and her own ailing mother and father, Stephan and Tekla Blendy, Barbara entered a new phase of her life in the 1980s working as a nurse's aide at the Laurelwood Nursing Home in Elkton, MD. Laurelwood soon promoted this humble but talented servant of the Lord by bestowing upon her the responsibility for medication distribution among the nursing home residents. Until her own health began to fail her in 2018, Barbara continued to assist the elderly in her community, even with one-on-one care. She often stated that her service to the elderly was the most fulfilling experience of her life.

Barbara lived each day with love and compassion serving her church and family. Her life was steeped in the prayers, the choir and the traditions of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. She was deeply devoted to Rev. Volodymyr Klanichka, the Pastor of St. Basil Ukrainian Catholic Church. She relished traditional Ukrainian foods and enjoyed making her favorites from scratch, including pierogies, borscht, holuptsi, paska, khrustyky and pampushky. (But her truly favorite meal was lobster with drawn butter.) Barbara also loved vegetable gardening, feeding the chickens, swimming in the ocean, playing with her feline companions (Oreo, Cookie, Pumpkin, Leo and Jackson) and donating to her favorite charities in gratitude for all the blessings she had received in her mortal life. She also loved going shopping and dancing on the weekends with her sister and best friend, Mildred.

She is survived by her loving daughter, Barbara Marie Blendy from Chesapeake City, and 12 nieces and nephews, all of whom brought her great joy throughout her life and well into her later years: Nick Blendy, Bill Blendy, Carl Rulis, Joan Immerman, Janice Redmond, Cindy Nevin, Michael M. Blendy, Nadine M. Whelan, Mary Ann DiPaola, Julie Ann Blendy, Annette Reynolds, and Maria Madigan. Barbara now joins two nieces and a nephew in spirit: Maxine Tomasic, Barbara Smuda, and Steve Rulis.

In keeping with Barbara's lifelong service to others, donations may be made to The Ridewell Program, c/o Rock Creek Park Horse Center, 5100 Glover Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015. Ridewell is a program co-founded by Barbara's daughter, retired US Park Police Mounted Officer Barbara M. Blendy. The program incorporates evidence-based Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies that serve soldiers and veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorders.

Mass and Celebration of Life Services will be held at a later date.

Arrangements by R.T. Foard Funeral Home, P.A.

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R.T. Foard Funeral Home, P.A.

318 George Street
P.O. Box 27
Chesapeake City, MD 21915
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