Elouise B. (Blakeslee) Penn

Elouise B. (Blakeslee) Penn, 95, of Spartansburg, Pa., formerly of Jamestown, N.Y., passed away June 8, 2019.

She was born May 12, 1924, at Mt. Pleasant in Bloomfield Twp, the daughter of the late Ernest and Eva Nettie (Potter) Blakeslee. Elouise married Paul Allan Penn in San Francisco in 1954, and had two daughters: Lesa and Kelly. They were married for 27 years.

She graduated from Bloomfield High School in 1942, and worked for two years as a machine operator at Aero Supply Inc. in Corry, Pa. In 1944, Elouise enlisted in what was known then as the U.S. Army Air Force. She went through WAC Basic Training and was a private for 1½ months. Then she was quickly promoted to sergeant and worked as a clerk typist for 17 months. Besides receiving an Efficiency Honor Award, Elouise also received the American Service Award, the World War II Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. She was honorably discharged on July 31, 1946.

Elouise was extremely proud of her military career, what it taught her, what she gave to her country through her service and what her country gave back to her. She attended the University of Chicago on the GI Bill and was very grateful. She was a member of the American Legion and worked tirelessly every year, putting American flags on Veterans’ graves at various cemeteries for Memorial Day, removing them after Labor Day. She was one of only two women World War II veterans from Crawford County. She was also active in the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Mount Pleasant Willing Worker’s Aid Society.

She was also very proud of her working career. While in Chicago in 1951, she had an opportunity to go to San Francisco and she took it. Elouise worked in the offices of Cudahy Packing Company and Fieldcrest Mills as a secretary for several years before returning to the East Coast with her husband. She worked at Blackstone Corporation, later to become Valeo Engine Cooling, Inc., in Jamestown, N.Y., for 31 years. Her title was secretary but was later modernized to administrative assistant in the sales department. If you ask anyone who worked with her, or for her, she did more than just assist, she was the administrator. Elouise was also very involved in the Blackstone Credit Union and the annual Blackstone Holiday Party. After her retirement, she was a Valeo consultant and a coordinator of the Mexican Programs.

Elouise loved school and furthered her education by taking many classes in a range of subjects. She finished what she started in Chicago by earning her associates of arts degree with high honors at Jamestown Community College in 1976. Many of the classes she took outside of her degree were to improve her skills in Spanish and credit union management. She was also an avid reader of biographies.

Elouise’s passion and hobby was her family’s history and genealogy, which she shared with her sister, Elsie Fox and the rest of the family. She loved nothing more than pulling out old photographs from the 1800s-1900s, showing visitors who was who, and telling one story after another. She loved a good joke and had a quick sense of humor and wit. Her stories, jokes, humor and wit will be missed by all. But none more so than by her proud daughter, Kelly, who will think about her every day.

Elouise is preceded in death by her unforgettable daughter and companion, Lesa Penn, whom she was devoted to for 57 years and missed every single day since her passing five years ago. She is also preceded in death by her brothers: Paul Blakeslee and Lyle Blakeslee; sisters: Lorraine Geer, Eleanor Geer and Elsie Fox; niece, Nancy (Fox) Miller; nephew, Warren Blakeslee; and two great- nieces.

She is survived by her loving daughter, Kelly Penn Averitt; her loving son-in-law, Scott Averitt; and her two loving grandchildren: Megan and Kyle, all of Alameda, Calif.

Elouise thought the world of her numerous nieces and nephews. Besides Nancy (Fox) Miller and Warren Blakeslee, that preceded her in death, she is survived by Arden Geer of Trenton, N.J., Larry Geer of Union City, Gayle Amann of Canadohta Lake, Glenn and Gerry Geer, both of Pittsburgh, Frank Fox of Palmetto, Fla., David Fox of Union City, Ralph Fox of Somerville, Texas and Timothy Fox of Union City, and their spouses. She had many great-nieces and nephews, and several great-great-nieces and nephews. Each and every one of them held a special place in her heart.

A memorial service will be conducted at a later date at the Mount Pleasant Chapel, Mount Pleasant Road, Spartansburg, Pa., with a military burial to follow at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Askins Cremation Funeral Services, Erie, PA is assisting the family with arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Association in care of Larry Geer, 10415 Route 6, Union City, PA 16438 or to the American Legion LeBaron Post 237 in care of Clare Blakeslee, 9225 Route 6, Union City, PA 16438.