Erma Edna Blakely (July 31, 2011)

Erma Edna Wilkinson Gauer Blakely, the daughter of Elmer and Rosetta (Cook) Wilkinson, was born in Mazon, Illinois, on December 8, 1920. She graduated from Mazon High School with the class of 1938. Erma married Rev. Wilbert P. Gauer on June 26, 1940, in Davenport, Iowa; they had two children, Paul and Pamela.

After Wilbert’s death on May 4, 1968, in Guthrie Center, Iowa, Erma and her daughter bought a house in Harlan, Iowa. Erma was capped as a licensed practical nurse from the School of Practical Nursing from Iowa Western Community College on October 5, 1969. She was employed at the Holiday Buffet, Variety Distributors, and the Golden Rule Store in Harlan.

Erma married H. Deane Blakely in Harlan, Iowa, on May 23, 1970. The Blakelys moved to Rhode Island in February 2003, to live with her daughter and son-in-law. Mr. Blakely passed away on December 6, 2003, in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Erma E. Blakely died on Sunday, July 31, 2011, at the Kent Hospital in Warwick, Rhode Island. She had reached the age of 90 years, 7 months, and 23 days.

Erma was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Thelma Misener; and her husbands, Rev. Wilbert P. Gauer and H. Deane Blakely. She is survived by her son, Paul (Madelon) Gauer of Sun City, Arizona; her daughter, Pamela (William) Sanders of Cranston, Rhode Island; and two grandsons, David (Stephanie) Gauer and Matthew (Dawn) Sanders.

Graveside services were held on Friday, August 5, 2011, at the Harlan Cemetery, Harlan, Iowa, with Rev. Darwin Moore of the First United Methodist Church, Harlan, Iowa, officiating. Casket bearers were Erma’s loving family and friends. Memorials may be made to the Harlan United Methodist Church, Harlan, Iowa. Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be left online at

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