Eileen H. Blatt
July 22, 1921 – August 3, 2019
Our lovely and incredibly strong Mother, Grandmother, Sister, Aunt and Friend – Mrs. Eileen Blatt – fell asleep in death on Saturday, August 3, 2019, just a few weeks persevering past her 98th birthday. She was in her own home on Pleasant Ridge Avenue, San Jose, California, where she had proudly resided and presided over her family since December 1950.
Eileen Hope Stiers was the first child born to McKinley Evans Stiers, Sr. and Nora V. Edwards Stiers on July 22, 1921 in Fort Scott, Kansas. As a bit of history, her dad, born in 1900, was named “McKinley” after the then-U.S. President, William McKinley. President McKinley had been Eileen’s grandfather’s general during the American Civil War. Eileen’s mother, Nora, only about 15 then, gave birth prematurely, which caught her parents by surprise. They quickly found a doctor who made house calls and a dresser drawer to use as a little bed for her. She only weighed 3 pounds at birth, tiny but healthy. Eileen was the first of 9 children. The Stiers’ raised their growing family in Kansas City, Missouri. She is predeceased by brothers McKinley Jr., Richard Gene, Wallace, Wayne, and Stephen; sister Shirley. Eileen is survived by two of her siblings: John Stiers (and wife Jessie) of College Place, Washington, and Carol Martin of Ojai, California. She and Johnny kept in touch by phone every week, which was a comforting habit for both. When in town, Carol and Eileen would enjoy Scrabble games together. In recent years, her sister-in-law Ruby Stiers would also drive from Oklahoma and make time to stop by.
In the early 40s, Eileen had a brief first marriage to John Edwin Yardley of Milan, Sullivan County, Missouri. From this union came her first two sons: Gerald Ray (1941) and Ronald Keith (1943). Following the divorce, when the boys were only about 4 and 2, Eileen and her children bravely forged a new life by following her parents to Northern California. Shortly after, through friends, she met a handsome man named Samuel Blatt. After their marriage, they welcomed two more sons – James Richard (1945) and Michael Lee (1949). Sam also formally adopted Jerry and Ron. A family circumstance gave them the opportunity to adopt a baby girl, Joyce Ann, in 1953. Eileen recalls taking 4-year-old Michael on a long train ride to Kansas City, MO to bring Joyce home. Eileen was proud of her beautiful home off Alum Rock Avenue, East Side of San Jose, where she raised her children. They could attend all their schools within walking distance.
Life took a sad turn in 1979 when Sam died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving Eileen a widow at age 58. As she adjusted to this new circumstance, she took a job at her son Jerry’s business, Star Quality Concrete. She worked in the office for many years, retiring at about age 90!
Eileen was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on August 14, 1955 at a small Kingdom Hall on 7th Street, downtown San Jose. They had a baptism pool under the stage! She loved being part of her congregation. She was very regular in her ministry work and attending the meetings, assemblies, and conventions. In more recent years she faithfully tied into the meetings by phone each week. She was in North Mayfair Congregation, which later became Creekside Congregation, for all her years as a Witness. She was known as the driver for many of the elderly ones over the years, even to the annual conventions in San Francisco. Her car groups were lovingly referred to as “the Golden Girls.” She gradually gave up driving shortly after passing the DMV renewal exam at age 90.
Eileen was predeceased by her son Ron in April 2010, daughter Joyce and her husband Ray in 2018, and son Mike in January 2019. Mike’s dear wife Diana passed away in 2015. Each loss was so difficult. Her remaining sons Jerry and Jim (wife Geri) lovingly and daily attended to her needs as her health started to decline in the last few years. She was a sweet, generous, fiercely independent, and funny lady, loyal to her God Jehovah and to her large family. She had an amazing work ethic, taught to us all. On a lighter note, she absolutely loved chocolate, was a skilled seamstress, an avid gardener and a whiz at the word game Scrabble. At age 97 she could still (sometimes) win her granddaughter Lisa.
Eileen is survived by: Her oldest son Jerry and his family: Nicole (Mike) Candelaria, their daughters Kelsea, Karlie & Kate. Son Brandon (Katheryn) Blatt, their sons Tyler, Brandon Jr. and Corbin. Her second son Ron’s family: Lisa (Benson) Look, and their sons Josiah and Nathaniel. Jeffrey (Tammy) Blatt, and their daughters Bethany (Zachary) Dix and and Hannah (Jaden) Stout. Ron’s widow, Heidi Blatt, and her sons Raymond (Paula) Mays and Douglas (Mishele) Mays, daughters Acacia and Alaya. Her third son Jim & wife Geri and their family: Julie Jensen; James M. (Renee) Blatt, daughters Christina, Nicole & Puanani Blatt; Samuel (Heather) Blatt, daughters Alyssa Menchaca & Emily and Madeline Blatt; Stephen (Deirdre) Blatt, children Brendan, Juliette, Caiden and Annaliese; Eileen (Jason) Synegal, children Mika, Maddox & Malia; Aaron (Carisa) DeVore, children Damien, Julissa & Drake; and Sean (Kim) DeVore, children Lillianna, Xavius and Jeremy. Her youngest son Mike’s family: Kristen Anne Blatt, her children Jay (Shannon) Gonzalez, Adrian Gonzalez, Taylor Gonzalez; Aaron Blatt; Kathy Blatt and son Justin; Michael T. (Katie) Blatt, children Andrew, Michaela, Chase & Hailey. Michael’s daughter, Jennifer Blatt Tarabichi, predeceased Eileen but leaves two daughters, Mia & Ellie.
Her daughter Joyce’s family: Theresa Ann Douglas and her daughter Tiffany Henkle; Thomas & Kara Douglas and sons Hunter & Jaxon of Oroville, CA. Also survived by a new generation of 10 little “great-greats.” As Grandma said, “see you in the New World, hon!”
Services to be held at Oak Hill Funeral Home & Memorial Park, 300 Curtner Avenue, San Jose CA 95125 on Saturday, August 24, 2019 – Visitation 11 am – 12 pm. Memorial talk 12 pm.
- Visitation Saturday, August 24, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, August 24, 2019
Eileen H. Blatt
August 23, 2019
Dearest Eileen You were always kind, helpful & excepting to me . You gladly took care of Lisa & Jeffrey when they were little. I really loved the six months that we all lived at your house while our Morgan Hill house was being constructed. Thorough out the years that I was part of your tribe we shared many great times together, as well as some trying times too. Thank you so very much for guiding & directing me & my family. Love Always. Heather Anders
August 23, 2019
Wonderfully, my life overlapped with many of my grandparents and great-grandparents. I appreciate how our lives intertwined , lessons learned, traits inherited, stories heard, memories shared.
Grandma Blatt played a major role in my life. As her first grandson, it is fun to think she might've shared with me a tiny bit more wisdom, but more likely an extra dose of needed discipline! She lovingly and firmly guided us, for which we are thankful.
In my last visit weeks ago, she reminded me how Lisa taught me to read around age four. Around that same age, grandma taught me critical truths I would come to appreciate more and more. I reminded grandma about two: "That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, you alone are the Most High over all the earth" (Psalms 83:18), and "Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway" (Psalms 119:105). Grandma's spiritual kickstart for me, my parents, my sister, for many of us, is a heritage of unsurpassed value that has protected me my entire life.
Memories: Friday's at grandma's with spaghetti, meatballs, and iceberg lettuce salad; driving grandpa Sam crazy as we built forts with patio furniture; playing Scrabble; grandma's cool Mustang and Hemi. What a wonderful family and legacy.
Living far from San Jose, I really appreciate how nearby family cared so diligently for grandma. She wasn't needy, but sons and grandsons kept the house in good shape, the girls provided companionship and added care. When I was in town for business or other travel, we would stop by to visit grandma, and it was comforting to consistently see uncles Jerry, Jim, Mike; aunt Geri; and others keeping grandma company. I know many cousins and the congregation kept an eye on her. Thank you, Lisa, Nicole, and Geri, for your loving, special efforts.
I look forward to reuniting with grandma at the resurrection in the earthly paradise, seeing her young, vibrant, healthy. With her perfect mind, I'm sure she'll win every game of Scrabble!
August 15, 2019
My grandmother Eileen Blatt was one of the strongest women I have ever known. She was kind, generous and loyal to her God Jehovah and to her family; particularly my mother. I thank her for being an anchor for my mom in difficult times and for helping her become the woman she is today. I think that that generosity and willingness to help others is something that all of grandma's children and grandchildren carry with them. I remember her picking me up from elementary school and taking me to the Star Concrete office when I got sick. I also remember when grandma babysat my brother and I and watched Lady and the Tramp with us. The truth is though, I really look forward to getting to know my grandmother much better on a paradise earth when she wakes up as a healthy, sound woman free of old age and pain. That day is coming soon and grandma lived for that hope- just like her name-Eileen Hope.
I love you and will see you soon,
August 8, 2019
Grandma, I love you so much, and miss you terribly already. Thank you for being a strong presence and source of motherly comfort throughout my life. So glad we shared the summer sun and trees at your favorite park last week. See you soon in the New World...which is just around the corner! Love, Lisa "your first grandchild."
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
IN THE CARE OF