Genevieve Pauline Bloudek, 94, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at the Edgewood Convalescent Home in Edgewood. She was born on April 23, 1926, in Monteray, Iowa, the daughter of Harold and Bertha (Johnson) Badger. The roads were too muddy for traveling, so Genevieve’s father and his cousin, Nellie, helped in her delivery. The family, consisting of seven children, moved to Gilmore and later to Tama.
Gen’s mother passed away when she was still a young girl. Life wasn’t easy, especially after that. She babysat for the deliveryman to earn money and also worked at the Tama Roller Rink as a “skate girl”, helping lace up skaters’ skates. She earned enough money to purchase her own skates. It was here that she met a handsome young man from Belle Plaine, Gene “Bud” Bloudek. Soon they were a couple and they were well known for their skating abilities. “Even though Bud never learned the two-step”, as Gen would say with a chuckle.
After making the long trip to Missouri to elope, the couple found out there was a three-day waiting period for a marriage license. When they returned home, family and friends thought they were married. They finally got the job done on January 22, 1944, at the Methodist parsonage in Tama. The couple started their family while living in Belle Plaine, with children, Pamela, Robert, and Melanie. In 1957 Gene became an Iowa State Park Ranger and the family made the move to Maquoketa Caves State Park near Maquoketa. They lived in the little stone house on the hill which still remains. Their next move was to Pine Lake State Park near Eldora. Here their family was completed with the birth of their daughter, Penny.
Gene was then transferred to Dolliver Memorial State Park near Lehigh, and eventually to his dream park of Backbone State Park near Dundee. During their years at Backbone, Gen could be seen riding with Gene on patrol, cleaning cabins, and helping check in on the campers. Genevieve began working at Marilyn’s Hallmark in Manchester. Here she fell in love with Precious Moment figurines and began her extensive collection gathered throughout the years.
The couple moved to their final state park, Pilot Knob, near Forest City. After Gene’s retirement, they spent summers in Iowa and winters in Wylie and Texarkana, Texas, working for the Army Corp of Engineers as gate attendants. After Gene’s death in 1988, Gen made her home in Edgewood and then Manchester.
Gen was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Dundee. She loved Precious Moments, fishing, finding items she didn’t know she needed at garage sales and Camp Courageous, root beer floats, shoes, the Iowa Hawkeyes, Patrick Mahomes of the KC Chiefs, eating at Pizza Ranch, chocolate shakes, and watching The Wall Game Show.
Survivors include her two daughters, Pamela Brown of Maquoketa, and Melanie “Lynn” (Dwayne) Hettinger of Dundee; a son-in-law, Leo Schwendinger of Rockford, Illinois ;11 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Genevieve was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Bertha Badger; her husband, Gene “Bud” Bloudek; one daughter, Penny Schwendinger; her son, Robert (Rebecca) Bloudek ; five brothers, Ernie, Jack, Bill, Joe, and Bud Badger; one sister, Cleta Hagge; two granddaughters, Jenelle Bloudek and Tamra Hettinger; one grandson, Allen Hettinger; and one great-grandson, Brian Jensen.
Genevieve’s family is so proud of her strength and determination to remain independent and in her own home. She was only at the Edgewood Convalescent Home for a short time. A wonderful soul is skating in Heaven with those she missed so dearly.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, masks are required at the funeral home.
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