Desona Ruth Blakeslee

Desona Ruth Blakeslee, 98, a homemaker and writer, left The Lane House Nursing Home in Crawfordsville to go home with Jesus on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.

She was born Feb. 1, 1922, at Urbana, Illinois, to Ora and Daisy (Neal) Ebert. On April 9, 1942, she married Paul Welshimer Blakeslee. He preceded her in death Nov. 1, 2010.

She spent her life joyfully and purposely being part of Jesus’s body on earth to serve her fellow man, starting with her family, and reached so many more. She taught her five children how to fish, how to sing “The Crawdad Song,” and how to love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Her homemade noodles, yeast rolls and pies will be missed, as well as long card games at the dining room table. One of her greatest gifts was hospitality. For many years she and Paul graciously and lovingly hosted annual weeklong Daisy Ebert family reunions. Some special talents were photography, writing and book making (with her photographs and narrative to document special occasions). She published numerous articles in periodicals including The Christian Standard and The Montgomery County Magazine (on whose staff she served for four years), and wrote a novel, numerous family histories and her own and Paul’s autobiographies. She also developed quite a talent for frugal homemaking, which included poultry raising, gardening and canning. While in her prime, instead of playing Sudoku to exercise her brain, she meticulously and amazingly packed the family car for annual two-week long tent-camping family vacations to a national park or historical monument or to visit distant relatives. She was a private home-care nurse for many years, was a waitress at The Apple Grove Restaurant for a period, and managed the Helpline Service for Montgomery County for two years. For many years she was active in the New Market Women’s Club. Serving as anchors in her life were The Whitesville Christian Church (for most of her adult life) and The New Market United Methodist Church (for a significant period of time), where she actively worshiped and served as a Sunday School teacher, youth sponsor, song leader and choir member.

She is survived by two daughters, Jeanne (Fred) Deck and Paula (David) Finch of Crawfordsville; and two sons, Jim (Judy) of Milton, Wisconsin, and John (Viv) of Milford, Indiana. She also is survived by 16 grandchildren, 57 great-grandchildren and 27 great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband Paul; daughter Patti (Jim, also deceased) Pearson; her parents; and all nine siblings, and nearly all of her contemporary friends. Memorial may be made to the Whitesville Christian Church, 3603 S. Ladoga Road, Crawfordsville, IN 47933-7981.

Visitation will be at Whitesville Christian Church, 3603 S. Ladoga Road, Crawfordsville on Saturday, January 2, 2021 from noon until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. Burial will follow at Oak Hill North Cemetery. The service will be live-streamed and recorded which can be viewed on Ruth’s obituary page at Social distancing is expected and masks are required. Sanders Priebe Funeral Care entrusted with care. Share memories and condolences online at

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