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Reuben B. Blumenshine

Nov 22, 2013 - Staff

Reuben B. Blumenshine died Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at Pathways Hospice in McKee Medical Center in Loveland, Colo. He was 89 years old.

Cremation has taken place, and internment will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.

Reuben Blumenshine was born Oct. 21, 1924, in Mead, Colo., the son of Henry Blumenshine and Katherine Walters Blumenshine. As a young boy, he and his family lived in Colorado, Michigan and Wisconsin. When he was 11 years old, the family settled in Riverton where his dad farmed. He and his brothers farmed alongside their dad while growing up.

He graduated from Riverton High School in 1943 and joined the U.S. Army in January 1945. He served with the 160th infantry regiment in the Philippines during World War II. He received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory medal, and Army of Occupation medal. Instead of going home after serving in WWII, he spent time in Korea. He was honorably discharged in December 1946.

On Dec. 16, 1956, he married Rosalee Seelemire, and they had four children, Randy, Rod, Rhonda and Ryan. He also had two children, Darryl and Judy, from a previous marriage.

His family said Mr. Blumenshine was a central part of the baseball and softball community in Riverton. He was part of the original group of men to build the sport of softball in Riverton, working hard to build the first softball field at the fairgrounds.

In the early 1960s, he began devoting time to the Little League baseball program in Riverton. He began his devotion to Little League by coaching at Teeter Park when his sons Randy and Rod started playing ball. In 1972, while he was president of the Little League, the Riverton Little League All-Star team -- which consisted of children he had a hand in coaching -- won Riverton's first state championship. His team then traveled to San Bernardino, Calif., for Regionals.

As the years went on, Mr. Blumenshine followed his older boys to Babe Ruth League, becoming a coach and eventually the president of that league. He devoted all of his free time in the summer to the Babe Ruth League and the Little League when his youngest son, Ryan, began to play. He also spent time with his daughter when she started playing softball.

Eventually, as his children grew up, Mr. Blumenshine stepped away from coaching, but his family said he never lost his passion for the games of baseball and softball.

He was also a supporter of the Boy Scouts and served as chairman for the annual popcorn drive and took many camping trips with the scout troops. He received the Lamb Award from the Lutheran Church and the Silver Beaver Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

His family said he was a big fan of the Colorado Rockies and hardly missed watching a game on television or in person when he had the chance. He was an avid Broncos football fan, and during his younger years he loved to bowl, hunt and fish.

He is survived by his wife, Rosalee, of Loveland, Colo.; sons Randy (Patty) of Longmont, Colo., Rod (Mona) of Thornton, Colo., and Ryan (Christy) of Fort Collins, Colo.; daughter Rhonda (Wayne) Carmichael of Fort Collins, Colo.; grandchildren Mandy Martin (Bobby) and Melissa of Longmont, Colo., Megan (Conan) of Commerce City, Colo., Renee Sieben (Rick) of Thompson Falls, Mont., Chelsea of Greeley, Colo., Kaela of Fort Collins, Colo., Jeremy and Jesse of Oregon and Aaron and Desiree of Washington State; 12 great-grandchildren; brothers Frank of San Antonio, Texas, and Raymond of Riverton; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, son Darryl, daughter Judy, brothers Dan and Walt Blumenshine, and sisters Helen Phelps and Dorothy McLaughlin.

Donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project or the Boy Scouts of America.

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