It is with much sadness that we announce the passing of our wonderful Dad, Allen (Ringo) Dewayne Blomker who lost his fight to COVID-19 on February 14, 2021.
Dad was born on July 16, 1945 in Litchfield, MN. He grew up in the wonderful small town of Eden Valley, MN. As a child, he loved sports and also had a very mischievous side to him. Of course, none of these stories were revealed to us until we grew older and were not able to use them against him. When hanging with his friends or siblings there were always good stories to be shared. We just loved watching the grin on his face as he shook his head, with nothing to say.
Dad graduated from Eden Valley High School with a class of 40 in 1963. During Al’s high school year’s, he was a four-star athlete. In his senior year, he made the West Lake All Conference Basketball team after scoring 255 points that season. He played football, basketball, baseball and track. Rumor has it…Dad has a town record or two. He was also a part of the Letterman’s Club and held various roles on the student counsel and was in a school play his junior year! (who would have thought!)
After high school he made his way to Minneapolis. The way Dad always told the story was “I had enough money in gas and a week’s worth of rent to stay at the YMCA, and would figure it out from there”. Which is exactly what he did. In January 1964, he started his 49-year career with Boyer Ford Trucks. During his early years at Boyer, he was given his nickname “Ringo” because he resembled a young Ringo Starr with his long hair and mustache. The nickname stuck for life. In fact, there are many people who only know Dad as Ringo. Shortly after starting at Boyer’s he attended Minnesota School of Business for two years. In July of 1966, he enlisted in the Army Reserve and served for 6 years.
Dad’s love for sports carried on throughout his adult life. In his early twenties he continued playing league baseball and bowling. Dad held season tickets to Gopher and North Stars hockey and Vikings football in which he took his kids and friends to at every opportunity. He loved being a spectator whether in person or watching it on TV. There was nothing Dad did not know about sports. In our eyes he was a mini-Sid Hartman, who he idolized dearly. Later in life our Dad rediscovered his love for golf with some of his best buddies Steve Ross, Ted Stacy, Scott Forsythe, “Tug”, Mark Spease, Brian Svendahl and many more.
In 1973, he purchased a home in Fridley, MN where he raised his four kids Susanne, Allen Jr, Angie and Stephen and lived there until his death.
Dad loved being a father. He raised us with an iron fist and a gentle heart for which all of us are forever in debt to him for. Dad spent countless hours running his kids to hockey, baseball, softball, figure skating school events, etc. Never once did he complain between work and us kids. Most of his days were 16 hours long. He loved watching and teaching his kids in any capacity, whether it was in sports, a school event or project. He was always our biggest cheerleader.
When we were young, we spent lots of weekends up north at the family cabin in Eden Valley, that dad basically built himself along with other family members and friends. He taught us to fish, swim, and the meaning of family. The weekends included visiting with our grandma, uncles, aunts and many cousins, hanging at the Corner Bar, going to the town baseball games or playing in the lake. Whenever we went back to Eden Valley, there was not a soul who did not know him. They knew us as “Al Blomker’s” kids. No matter how the conversation started, it always ended with your dad is a great guy.
Once we had grown up and finally moved out, he continued his countless hours of being there for us. Dad enjoyed nothing more than being there for his son’s when they both were building their houses. He was always ready with his tools to do any project he was assigned to do at any moment. Dad was also his daughters’ on-call handyman. Whatever the house project or simple errand was, we knew we could always depend on Dad.
Dad loved attending his grandkids events. Whether it was hockey, tennis, basketball, softball, bowling, gymnastics, dance, theater performances or school events, he was there. Many times, it included running from Bloomington to Ham Lake, Ham Lake to Apple Valley and back again (all uphill too!!). If he couldn’t make it in person, he would find another way to attend by either streaming it online, checking in afterwards or looking up the stats in the newspaper.
He earned the title of BEST babysitter and dog-sitter. He never turned down the chance to spend time with them (even if wasn’t his favorite thing to do, aka dog sitting big, crazy dogs). If he had a conflict, he would rearrange his schedule so he could be there to help.
Dad was always up for an adventure to anywhere. Some of his favorite trips included going to Canada fishing for muskie's with his sons Al Jr and Steve, his grandkids Jaidan, Shaina, and Broten and the Canada Wolf Pack. Traveling to Hawaii for spring break with Susanne and Craig, his grandkids Katelynne, Ellie, William and their extended family and taking many golf trips with his friends and son-in-law Paul. He truly enjoyed sailing the open seas with his friend Jim Fulford. Sailing from Panama to Hawaii and then later to the Aleutian Islands. He also enjoyed other Alaska fishing trips with Jim that included his son-in-law Craig, his sons Al Jr and Steve, his grandkids Katelynne, Ellie and William along with their cousins. He always looked forward to the winter getaways to Arizona to visit and golf with his brother Wally and sister-in-law Jean. He was a trooper and tagged along on college visits with his granddaughter Katelynne to Boston, which included a trip to Fenway. He also packed up to go on the ultimate Disney vacation with grandkids and traveled through Glacier National park with his daughter Angie and other family members to attend his nephew’s wedding. He also had the honor of walking his daughter Angie down the aisle in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. However, going back home to visit family in Eden Valley was always at the top of his list.
Dad was a loving father to all of us, his six grandkids and six grand-pups. Family was the most important thing to him. Not only did he have the love for his own immediate family, but his love also extended out to his nieces and nephews, their children and to all of our friends. He treated all of them as if they were his own kids or grandkids. If Dad was invited to any sort of family celebration or sporting event to watch someone play, he rarely missed to opportunity to attend.
For those of you who did not have the honor of knowing our dad, he was the most loving, caring, selfless, hardworking man, who always put his family first, and never said no to helping a friend, neighbor or stranger who needed a helping hand.
The memories of his travels are endless. His stories were classic and will be deeply missed, especially the ones about Elvis. Dad also had many great one-liner’s that would make us belly laugh. One our favorite phrases being “What Not All”. We still don’t know what that means, but will forever keep it close to our hearts.
A Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date, likely in July. Look for further information to be communicated. In preparation for the Celebration of Life, we would like to create memory boards to have on display showcasing our Dad. Over the next few weeks or months, anyone who has a memory, story or photo they’d like to share, please send them to "email@example.com" We would love to include it.
He leaves behind a legacy of love, kindness, hard work and loyalty. In the chaos and turbulence of today’s world, we ask you to take a moment in your day to embrace these qualities with those around you. #belikeringo
In closing we’d like to end with our Dad’s voicemail message which simply said: “Ringo...Thank you”.