March 8, 1925 – May 14, 2018
Maurine Smith Blake, age 93, entered into eternal life on May 14, 2018 from her home in Jackson, MS, surrounded by loving family. She was born on March 8, 1925 to Walter and Mattie Smith of Winona, MS, the 12th of 13 siblings. In 1947, she married Anderson Carter Blake of Pocahontas and started her family, before joining Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi. Mrs. Blake had a long and successful career at Blue Cross, advancing in its management ranks, and becoming the first female officer in the history of the company. In 1977, she was named Vice President of Government Program Claims. In 1985, her division was ranked as the number one Medicare Contractor. During her tenure, she was also given responsibility for Government Program Claims for the Louisiana Blue Cross Blue Shield plan. She retired in 1992 as the Senior Vice President of Government Programs.
The Blakes raised four daughters, all graduates of Mississippi State University, and were active members of Clinton United Methodist Church for more than 25 years. After moving to Jackson, they transferred their membership to Christ United Methodist Church, where Mrs. Blake enjoyed her Sunday school class and JOY group. Carter and Maurine celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary shortly before his death in 2007. Mrs. Blake loved to play bridge, travel, dance, and host family gatherings; she also took a mission trip to Russia after her retirement. She loved life and people and always had a positive, “can-do” attitude. She was proud of her daughters and was thrilled to hear stories regarding her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Blake is survived by her four daughters: Peggy Cudd and husband Mike of Clinton, Linda Kirshman and husband Harry of Denison, TX, Ginger Basner and husband Randy of Tallahassee, FL, and Nancy Hogan (husband Mike, deceased) of Douglasville, GA. She also is survived by ten grandchildren: Michele Cudd, Jennifer Cudd, Kristen (Stephen) Ritterbush, Blake (Amanda) Kirshman, Drew (Jade) Kirshman, Michael (Lindsey) Pagozalski, Brian (Trisha) Pagozalski, Stacy (Pawel) Pagozalski, Allison Hogan, and Patrick Hogan. She is survived by seven great-grandsons: Stevie and Abe Ritterbush, Brady and Walker Kirshman, Blake Pagozalski, and twins Lawton and Levi Pagozalski, and many nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life service will be at 2:00 on Saturday, May 19 at Parkway Funeral Home in Ridgeland. The Reverend Calvin Cosnahan of Christ United Methodist Church will be officiating. Visitation will be on Friday, May 18 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 1:00. Interment will be in Parkway Memorial Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to either Christ United Methodist Church or Clinton United Methodist Church.
- Peggy and husband Mike Cudd, Daughter
- Linda and husband Harry Kirshman, Daughter
- Ginger and husband Randy Basner, Daughter
- Nancy Hogan, Daughter
- Mrs. Blake also leaves ten grandchildren: Michele Cudd, Jennifer Cudd, Kristen (Stephen) Ritterbush, Blake (Amanda) Kirshman, Drew (Jade) Kirshman, Michael (Lindsey) Pagozalski, Brian (Trisha) Pagozalski, Stacy (Pawel) Pagozalski, Allison Hogan, and Patrick Hogan; seven great-grandsons: Stevie and Abe Ritterbush, Brady and Walker Kirshman, Blake Pagozalski, and twins Lawton and Levi Pagozalski; and many nieces and nephews to cherish her memory.
- Patrick Hogan
- Bruce Fogg
- Blake Kirshman
- Drew Kirshman
- Brian Pagozalski
- Stacy Pagozalski
- Christ United Methodist Church
- Clinton United Methodist Church
- Visitation Friday, May 18, 2018
- Visitation Saturday, May 19, 2018
- Funeral Service Saturday, May 19, 2018
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