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Helen T. Blomquist

Dec 31, 2008

Helen T. Blomquist died peacefully in her sleep on Dec. 17 in Sanibel at the home of her sister, Margaret Thorsen, with whom she has lived with for the past 15 years.

Helen was born to Anna and Theodore Thorsen in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1916. After graduating from Central High School, she went on to Carleton College where she earned majors “with distinction” from both the English and Economics departments. She was inducted into the academic honorary society, Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated summa cum laude from Carleton in 1937.

While in college, she was active in the literary society and began her lifelong association with the League of Women Voters. After college, Helen went to work for Northwest Airlines which was just beginning to fly the Great Circle route, pioneered by Charles and Anne Lindbergh, to Japan. These were exciting years in the airline industry and Helen traveled widely around the world in DC-4s and then the glamorous double-deck Boeing Stratocruisers.

In 1949, she married the chief counsel for Northwest, Linus Glotzbach. He died in 1960. Subsequently, in 1965, Helen married Marshall Blomquist, an executive with Swift & Company. He died in 1978. Meanwhile, Helen left Northwest to work for the Preferred Travel Agency.

Helen has had many talents and interests. She played the piano quite well and served as Treasurer and then President of the St. Paul Schubert Club during years when the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra was moving into the forefront of musical organizations. She was also President of College Club in St. Paul. She was quite active in Governor Harold Levander’s successful 1966 bid for election. Her award-winning garden in St. Paul was featured in several publications, and after moving to Sanibel to join her sister Margaret in 1993, she continued to garden, raising exotic orchids.

In addition to her sister, Helen is survived by two step-sons and five step grandchildren.

Many thanks to her loving and devoted care giving staff, Marie, Brandi, Jean, Kallie, Denise and Kathleen for the last five years of comfort and joy. Memorials should be directed to the Schubert Club, 75 West Fifth Street #302, Saint Paul, MN 55102 or The Shell Museum-Thorsen Library, 3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road, Sanibel, FL 33957. Services to be held at a later date on Sanibel Island.