Around 11:11 P.M. on June 17, Naomi mercifully passed away after a hard fought battle with cancer and its complications. We believe that she chose this time for her own spiritual reasons. Two days after celebrating her 70th birthday on June 7 with her family and close friends, she had a stroke and could not rebound from that further cruel blow.
Naomi was laid to rest on June 21 in the Blake family home town of Minnedosa. Per her wishes, the interment was a private green burial (coincidentally with eagles flying above).
She will be sadly missed by husband Garry, son Dylan (Brook Murray), grandsons Sawyer and Henry, her four siblings Kelly (Marguerite Nyberg-Blake), Darren, Colleen (Leonard) Nelson, Chris (Lisa) and uncle Paul (Cheryl) Bergman, her Marshall family Brian (Jo-Anne), Wendy (Glen) Curtis and Darryl (Jackie Rietvelt). She was predeceased by her parents Dave and Gwen Blake, in-laws Art and Frances Marshall and by brother-in-law Bruce Marshall.
Naomi was born in Flin Flon, Manitoba. Growing up, Naomi was like a mother figure to her four siblings. She helped raise them while the Blake family periodically relocated around Manitoba within the banking industry. Eventually, the siblings, one by one, joined Naomi to work in entrepreneurial ventures. Something her siblings all agreed on was “I would not be the person I am today without her”.
Naomi met the love of her life Garry in 1997, through a blind date! Anyone who knew Garry and Naomi realized that they had a fairy tale love; they complemented each other perfectly ! Happily married for 23 years, they enjoyed many memories & had lots of stories that will continue to be told.
Naomi had a love for food and hospitality. She applied her work ethic initially at a chip stand in Grand Marais, then went on the road with the carnival, a fajita bar in Puerto Rico, a taco stand in Old Market Square, and on and on. Her path, with brother Chris, led to catering to world class rock shows and award winning local film productions in Winnipeg at NBC Catering, and evolved into Stars Bar ’N Grill. Naomi also held various serving and management positions with The Round Table, Hotel Fort Garry, Gaffers Restaurant and latterly with Rae’s Bistro + Lounge. Throughout all her years in the industry she touched many lives and was a mentor to many aspiring professionals.
Travel was an important component of her life: work (and play!) on the road shows in Canada and the U.S., and many visits to Flin Flon (on the lake with Paul & Cheryl), Mexico, Provincetown (home of Kelly and family), New York and Phoenix. Some of her favourite memories were travelling on a cruise to Italy, Greece and Santorini with her sisters, and living on the Maya Riviera with Garry and Dylan (while home schooling) over the winter of the Millennium. She loved to find authentic experiences wherever she went, making friends and more memories along the way.
The thing Naomi loved most in this world was being surrounded by all her friends and family. The light of her life was her two grandsons, Sawyer and Henry. “It takes a village...” was something she would always say, and sometimes it seemed she was the village. From sleepovers with the kids, to bringing home cooked meals in hard times, she was always looking for ways to support “the village”.
So many will miss Naomi’s smile, her laugh, and the way that she would light up a room. We’ll miss her hospitality, and her wisdom, but most of all we will miss her.
Be free Naomi, we love you !!
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
The family hopes that her vast network of friends and business associates will join us for a Celebration of Naomi’s life, Saturday, October 2 fro 1:30 to 4:30 in the Provencher Ball Room and Sunset Terrace of the Fort Garry Hotel.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Naomi’s honour may be made to Cancer Care Manitoba www.cancercarefdn.mb.ca or by phone at 204.787.4143