Cover photo for Mildred Katherine Spencer Vanblokland's Obituary
Mildred Katherine Spencer Vanblokland Profile Photo

Mildred Katherine Spencer Vanblokland

April 5, 1909 — April 5, 2013

Mildred Katherine Spencer Van Blokland, age 104, of La Grande, died Friday, April 5, 2013 at Vera's Adult Foster Care in La Grande. A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Christian Church in La Grande. To view the full obituary and on-line guestbook, visit

Mildred was born on April 5, 1909 in La Grande, the daughter of Roy and Nellie (Gekeler) Spencer, and was a granddaughter of Union County Pioneers. She graduated from La Grande High School and attended Eastern Oregon University. On Feb. 20th, 1932 she married Clifford Van Blokland in Walla Walla, Washington.

Music was her passion and she began performing and teaching at an early age. Mildred continued to study and give lessons well into her 100th year, making her one of the oldest piano teachers in the state. Throughout her long career, she taught piano to over 1,000 students of all ages. Student recitals were held in her home and Mildred's handmade, decorative cookies always added a sweet note to the festivities. Mildred was an active member of PEO I, the Oregon Music Teachers Association and the First Christian Church. Her brothers, Don, Lee and Bob Spencer, preceded her in death, as did her husband, Clifford, in 1992 and her son, Curt, in 2012.

Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Berkley Summers of La Grande, daughter-in-law, Karen Van Blokland of La Grande; grandchildren Krysten and Sam Wiseman of Lake Oswego, Kelly and Elaine Van Blokland of Portland, Berkley Scott and Kristin Summers of La Grande, and Ryan Summers of San Jose, California; and three great grandchildren, Kylee and Jake Wiseman, and Ellison Summers. Mildred will be fondly remembered by many other relatives and friends as well.

Those who wish may make contributions in her memory to the EOU Foundation for a Music Scholarship.


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