Corinne A. Blackman, 97, died peacefully on June 29, 2022, at Mercy Circle Home in Chicago. Born on Oct. 1, 1924, to parents Otto and Alma Stoll in Riverside, growing up in the heart of the Depression. She was a 1942 graduate of Riverside Brookfield High School, then worked for Wieboldt’s in Oak Park as an executive secretary for the vice-president of the store, where she excelled in her duties, particularly typing. That skill would serve her well when she assisted in typing her children’s high school and college term papers and when she re-entered the work force in her 50s as a secretary at Schreiber Construction in Forest Park.
The greatest joy of Corinne’s life began when she and her girlfriends met a group of sailors at a local carnival in Melrose Park. In an effort to coax the girls to join them, Corinne was given the first choice of who to stroll with. She surprised them all by selecting a 6-foot-tall, 140-pound, sailor who was shyly standing off to the side of the group. Three years later, after numerous wartime correspondence and meetings, Corinne married this sailor from southeast Texas and spent the next 63 years married to the man of her dreams.
After their marriage, the newlyweds moved to River Forest, where the family lived from 1948 to 1977 and became a lifelong member of St. Luke Parish in River Forest. She was a den mother for the Cub Scouts and Brownies, and a member and secretary of the Women’s Guild. She also helped by driving the nuns (who were not allowed to drive in the 1950s and ’60s) on their ministerial duties throughout the parish. Usually afterward she would coax them into Petersen’s Ice Cream Parlor for a treat.
She continued to assist St. Luke Church by working as a sacristan — which involved cleaning the altar and vestments — until she was physically unable to do so, in her early 80s, and then by singing in the Resurrection Choir.
She was a lifelong bowler, starting from her high school days. At the Senior Bowl Club at Circle Lanes, in her early 90s, she bowled a 180-game. She was often the best bowler in the Senior League, even among members who were 20 to 30 years younger. She was also a longtime blood donor, giving over 2 gallons of blood from her 50s to her early 70s. She drove until the age of 93, assisting and visiting fellow seniors who lived in the area.
She had two great sorrows. The first was the birth of Joan Mary, her last child, who was born with hydrocephalia with severe disabilities and was bedridden her entire life. Joan was supposed to live for only 5 or 6 years, but lived to the age of 25, every one of which was cherished by Corinne. The second was the death of her beloved husband, Charles Sr., at the age of 86, after suffering five years from Lewy Body disease.
In 2018, at the age of 94, she left St. Luke and the town of River Forest and lived at Mercy Circle Assisted Living on the Southwest Side of Chicago. Though her final years were difficult, she retained her keen intellect and social skills.
Corinne was the wife of the late Charles E. Blackman Sr. for 63 years; mother of Charles Jr. (Luanne Ellison), Mark (Jane), Nancy (Steve) Lukasik, and Joan Mary Blackman (deceased); the sister of the late Robert and Roger Stoll and aunt of Victoria Bentley; the grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of five, and aunt to numerous nieces and nephews of the Blackman family in southeast Texas.
Visitation will be held on Friday, July 8, 2022 at St. Luke Church, 7600 Lake St., River Forest from 10 a.m. until the funeral Mass at 11 a.m., with interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.
Arrangements were handled by Conboy-Westchester Funeral Home.