March 6, 1915 - April 21, 2013
Edith “Edie” W. Blackman (nee Edith Whaley) passed away peacefully on Sunday April 21, 2013 in her Los Altos home where she has resided since 1946. She came to Los Altos with her husband, William J. Watson, (“Sput” to friends), in 1946, from Shellman, Georgia where they both were born and raised not far from one another. Sput’s affectionate term for her was “My Georgia Peach”. Recently, she thoroughly enjoyed a party in her honor on her 98th birthday in March at Bella Vita Restaurant.
Edie’s life was full of adventure, romance, first class home-making and hostess of many lovely parties, seamstress extraordinaire, athletic activity, volunteer work and a fulfilling professional career.
Edie was the indispensible Executive Secretary to three Directors of NASA/AMES in Mountain View, for over thirty years. She devotedly maintained her close friendships with her NASA bosses and colleagues, Hans Mark and Jack Boyd and their families. Her community involvement included secretarial work and Greeting before Sunday Services for her Church, Los Altos United Methodist Church on Magdalena Avenue---the very same Church for which she ‘cut cots’ and made apricot jam to sell in order to help the Church acquire the property where it is now located. She also tirelessly supported the Sensory Aids Foundation and the Navy League of Mountain View giving secretarial support to both; and was always easily prevailed upon to supply her famous pot of baked beans for Navy League gatherings. A devoted golfer, Edie was known to play 9 holes early in the morning before work at NASA. After retirement, she could more easily be found at 7am playing 18 holes on the Stanford Golf Course than any where else on earth! When not playing golf, Edie was apt to be creating a pattern to tailor her first husband’s business suits or her own glamorous skirts, blouses and jackets; or baking a bunny shaped carrot cake for young family friends particularly at Easter; or canning homegrown applesauce or apricot jam in her kitchen during the summers, in the singing company of her closest girlfriends—Molly Malovos, Dorothy Christiansen and Ecky Levy, (all of whom predeceased Edie); or taking off on a journey with her first husband and those same girlfriends and their spouses to the Caribbean and Hawaii; or touring World War II sites with her husbands; or hemming up the slipper satin wedding gown of lifelong friend, Mitzi Malovos Konevich, the night before the big event; or patiently teaching Sonja Konevich to make her own senior prom gown; or sitting demurely as Cindy Kuhr trimmed and lovingly styled her coiffeur; or riding around town doing errands with the devoted assistance of her stepson, Dennis Kuhr, of whom she was so deeply proud.
Edie survived three loving husbands…her first love, “Sput” Watson, suddenly passed away in 1976. Her second love, Harvey Kuhr, passed away in 1996. Her third love, William Blackman, passed away in 2005. Edie was preceded in death by her father, Roy Whaley, her mother, Marjorie Cleveland Whaley, and her brothers, Roy R. Whaley, Quentin Stewart “Jack” Whaley and Ray S. Whaley.
Edie is survived by her loving ‘little’ sister Lillian Goff and ‘baby’ brother William Whaley; her many beloved nieces and nephews living in Texas, Pennsylvania, Delaware, South Carolina and Georgia; her devoted stepson Dennis Kuhr and his loving wife, Cindy, and their family; and her loving caregivers.
No one could or will ever forget the lovely spirit and grace, the wisdom delivered in that sweet whisper of that Georgia accent, the generosity and compassion, and the deep and devoted friendship of dear Edith Whaley Watson Kuhr Blackman.
A memorial service will be held at Los Altos United Methodist Church on Magdalena Avenue, Los Altos, on May 15, 2013 at 3pm, with a reception to follow in the Garden Room at the Church. Donations may be made to Los Altos United Methodist Church and Pathways Hospice. Edith’s remains were shipped to Shellman Georgia (by Spangler Mortuary of Los Altos, www.spanglermortuary.com), and services were held in Shellman for her burial next to her first husband, William J. Watson, as per her request.