Miriam C. Blackmer passed away peacefully in the early morning of March 9, 2018, after a long and fruitful life dedicated to her family, her church and her community. She never passed up an opportunity for service and there was always room for one more at her table. Even people who met Miriam after dementia had taken hold could see her grace and charm. Miriam touched many lives and the world is a better place for having had her in it.
Born in 1927 to Grace S. and Albert G. Corless, she lived her entire life in Wilmington and Hockessin. She graduated from P.S. DuPont High School in 1945 and earned a B.S. in primary education from the University of Pennsylvania in 1948. She was a teacher and director for several years at the family business, Corless Kindergarten and could effortlessly wrangle a room full of 5-year-olds into rapt attention. Miriam later earned a master’s degree in human relations from the University of Delaware.
Miriam joined Hillcrest-Bellefonte United Methodist Church as a teenager. She was active in the church and in Methodist youth programs. The Methodist spirit of service was manifest in two of the highlights of her young life: a stay at the World Council of Churches Workcamp throughout the summer of 1950 at the College Cevenol in France and a trip to Japan in 1951 under the auspices of the International Christian University as a goodwill ambassador representing 70,000 Protestant young people from the U.S. and Canada. Miriam was also the President of the Peninsula Conference Youth Council in 1951. Over the years, she has served her home church in a number of capacities: singing in the choir, teaching Sunday school, serving with the Women’s Society and serving on church governance committees. Her quiet faith informed her actions and relationships throughout her life.
In 1952 at the Washington Street YMCA, Miriam met Randall Blackmer, a young civil engineer from Massachusetts. They were married in 1955 and remained devoted to each other for life. They moved to Hockessin with their two daughters in 1971. Miriam was active in the Hockessin Community Club, the Delaware State Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Center for the Creative Arts, as well as other civic organizations. She volunteered to help with the Wilmington Flower Market Clothes Horse and was soon in charge. When the Flower Market decided not to continue the effort, Miriam distributed much of the inventory to charities around Wilmington and moved the racks and remaining inventory to Hillcrest-Bellefonte Church. With the help of several intrepid volunteers, she started the “New to You” shop as a clothing ministry to the community, spending many joyful hours there.
Miriam is survived by her beloved husband Randall, daughters Kathryn and Gale, son-in-law Edward, granddaughters Carol and Colleen.
Her funeral service will be held on Friday, March 16 at 11:00am at Hillcrest-Bellefonte United Methodist Church, 400 Hillcrest Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19809. Friends and family are welcome to visit prior to the funeral service starting at 10:00 am. Following the service, interment will be held at Hockessin Friends Meeting House.
Memorial contributions in Miriam’s honor can be made to Hillcrest-Bellefonte United Methodist Church.