Always evolving, Robert Arthur Blome, MD, continued to push forward with his life pursuits of reading, writing and skiing through his 88th year. To celebrate his 80th birthday, he insisted his entire family and a few of his courageous friends go river rafting with him. He lost or won the last health battle that was thrown at him and died in the early hours of May 19, 2021.
Bob was born June 13, 1931 in Iowa City, IA to Glenn C. & Laura Mae Blome. He was raised and attended high school in Ottumwa, IA. After acquiring his BA degree from Grinnell College, Bob attended the State University of Iowa Medical School, from which he graduated in 1955 with his MD. His internship at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, OR was followed by a surgical residency from 1956-60 at the VA Hospital in Iowa City. After being on the surgical staff there from 1960-61, he fulfilled his obligation to the US Air Force, where he served as Captain until 1963.
In 1958, Bob married Louann Nockels. They moved to Nampa in 1963, where he opened a practice of General & Thoracic Surgery. He later joined The Medical Center Physicians, which became the Saltzer Medical Center, and practiced there until his retirement in 1994.
Three daughters were born to Bob and Louann: Elizabeth (Edelweiss) Ann, 1959; Jennifer Lynn, 1961; and Laurie Lynn, 1964. Bob & Louann divorced in 1982 but remained unified in their devotion to their daughters.
Bob believed in his community and served as Chairman of the Nampa Chapter of the American Red Cross and Chairman of the Canyon County Committee of Idaho TB Association. He served on the Board of Directors of Nampa United Way and was active in the Canyon County Public Health Department. He was Chief of Staff and Chief of the Department of Surgery at Mercy Hospital as well as a member of the Kiwanis Club.
During their daughters’ formative years, Bob and Louann instilled in them the importance of education and a strong work ethic, encouraging them to follow their dreams and passions and to believe that anything was possible. Bob was a long-term member of the Board of Directors of the Bogus Basin Ski Racing Alliance; a long-time member and president of the Nampa Aquatic Club; and a long-time nationally certified swim & ski racing official.
Bob began backpacking and mountaineering in his youth, starting with the Mississippi River cliffs and moving on to the Tetons, Rocky Mountains and European Alps. He was an avid golfer during his early years, playing on the varsity teams in high school and college. After moving to Idaho, he was drawn to white water kayaking with his colleague, Dr. Robert Hay, and then skiing, which became an overriding passion. After listening to the Bob Gibson song “What’ll We Do When the Snow is All Gone?” he followed Gibson’s sage advice, packed his bags, went to Chile and skied Portillo! On his quieter side he pursued the beauty and challenge of photography.
Bob married Dixie V. Weeks on April 26, 1984, and they maintained their farm, habitat and Nampa residence until the time of his death. Bob gave support, encouragement and many wonderful experiences to Dixie’s four children; he was unfailingly generous with his time and energy. An inveterate goal-seeker himself, he guided them, became their friend and a role model they loved & respected unconditionally.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and his only sibling, Martha Blome. He is survived by his wife, Dixie and his three daughters: Elizabeth Owen (Rob ) & grandchildren Hunter, of Newport Beach, CA & Makena Owen, MD, Miami, FL; Jennifer Blome and her children Fox and Paris Mutual of Vancouver, Canada; and Laurie Blome Jacobsen, of Oslo, Norway, and grandson Max Jacobsen, Minneapolis, MN; his step-children Laurie Weeks, NYC, NY; Stan Weeks, ( Susan), Coeur d’Alene, ID, and grandson Stephen, (Kisza) and great grandson Alex Weeks, Colorado; Mark Weeks and grandson Brendan Weeks, Tokyo, Japan; Steven Weeks (Cheryl), Viola, ID, and two cousins, Donald Blome and Joan Book.
Following of their retirements, Bob and Dixie traveled extensively to their children’s new locations as well as other areas of the world. Their mutual love of the arts, philanthropy, sports and the richness of Idaho’s outdoor vistas kept them learning and active. They never neglected celebrations, parties and the fun times with their own amazing friends and the increasing pallet of their growing families. Bob loved his wide spectrum of animals, from his horse Dewey to his dogs Eric, Sammy and Missy; and especially Sheila, Kachina and Sage, whom he lovingly trained from puppyhood!
We wish to extend our warmest thanks and respect to the extra-professional care and warmth given to Bob by Michael Dee, MD and by Dr. Fiorentino and the friendly staff at the Nampa Oncology Office. The ICU professionals at Nampa’s St. Luke’s Hospital, including Dr. Feuerborn ; Will, Respiratory Therapist; and RNs Brittany, Kelli, Clair, Nikki and Amanda who kept their medical skills focused on Bob while treating him with respect and helping us laugh through our tears.
At Bob’s request there will be no service. In the fall, inurnment will be conducted at Canyon Hills Cemetery in Caldwell under the direction of John Yraguen, Nampa Funeral Home, followed by a private celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Bogus Basin Ski Program, Idaho Shakespeare Festival or The Deer Flat Refuge, Nampa, ID.
Bob never stopped learning from life and Bob “lived” life until he died.
Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas,
intoxicated by the Romance of the Unusual
– Ernest Hemingway
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