Edwin Gene Blue, age 87, died peacefully at home in Greenville, Illinois on December 8, 2021, concluding a lengthy battle with kidney disease.
An impoverished early childhood began in Rome, New York, March 29, 1934, as his family traveled about searching for sustainable work during the depression. His time in Upstate New York included an influential stint as student in a one-room school.
They moved to Warsaw, Indiana, Kosciusko County, in the early 1940’s, birthplace of parents Clarence and Margaret Blue, where Ed and older brother “Junior” spent the remainder of their growing up years.
Ed initially attended schools in Warsaw including “Center Ward” (later named Adams Elementary School) before the family moved to rural Kosciusko County near Shoe Lake, midway between Leesburg and North Webster.
It was there he met the love of his life Judy Hunter, to whom he was married 65 years, and near a small piece of land along Armstrong Road on the edge of the Hunter farm where Ed and Judy raised their four children……Tim, Susan, Teresa and Scott.
Inspired by Judy and a Hunter focus on formal education, Ed was first in his family to graduate high school (North Webster, 1952), attend college (Grace College, Bachelor of Arts, 1956), pursue graduate work (Indiana University, Bloomington, Master of Science in Education, 1962, Doctor of Education, 1975).
And it was largely through Judy and the Hunters he began attending church, accepted the Lord as Savior and pursued a life following the path of Christ.
His 53-year career as educator began in Kosciusko County, as teacher and coach at Leesburg and then teacher, coach and principal of various schools in the Warsaw School System.
It continued at Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, 1978-92 where Dr. Blue was professor and eventually President, and at Greenville College in Illinois, 1994-2009 where he was professor before serving as the college’s interim President for one year before retiring.
He relished the students he taught and mentored across the decades, identified with and was particularly empathetic for those feeling out of place and or not worthy for whatever reason.
He had a keen sense of humor, needed occasional reminders he was “not as funny as he thought he was”. His storytelling nature included tales of early life misadventures born of poverty, great potential, a youthful penchant for living on the edge combined with boredom.
And he loved and devoted himself to family, his children and grandchildren……Courtney and David Blue, Lindsey, Ashley and David Holden, Sevi and Jackson Gleeson Blue.
All of whom survive Ed except wife Judy who passed in 2017 and with whom he is thankfully now reunited. May they rest in peace.
A private graveside burial service will be held at the Oswego Cemetery, Oswego, Indiana, on Sunday, December 19, arrangements through Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Indiana 46580.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation, 101 Jackie Joyner-Kersee Circle, East St. Louis, Illinois 62204. (To donate online see “Fuel the Dream” tab on the Foundation website, jjkfoundation.org).