Blaine E. Shoemaker, beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, and grandfather, 85 of Oklahoma City, OK, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, December 6, 2022. Funeral Services will be 11 a.m., Wednesday, December 14, at the College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Aledo. Burial is in the Aledo Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church. Memorials may be left to the Mercer County 4-H. Fippinger Funeral Home, Aledo, is in charge of arrangements and online condolences can be made at fippingerfuneralhome.com.
He was born on October 8, 1937, at Mercy Hospital in Davenport, IA, to Clarence and Opal Yerkey Shoemaker. Blaine was in the last graduating class of the Centerville School where he made lifelong friends. He graduated from Aledo High School in 1955. For two years he attended Monmouth College, becoming a member of the Theta Chi Fraternity. Blaine received his Bachelor of Agriculture Science in 1961 and his Master of Science in Animal Science in 1965 from the University of Illinois. While an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, he was a member of the Livestock Judging Team.
Blaine was raised on a farm near Seaton, IL, where his love of black Angus cattle and agriculture began. He became involved with the Mercer County 4-H at the strong encouragement of his uncle, Everett Shoemaker. This was the beginning of a lifelong passion for Blaine. He spent his youth showing cattle at the Mercer County Fair and traveling to cattle shows in Chicago and Denver. He shared this passion with his grandchildren, bringing them to the Mercer County Fair and watching proudly, as they showed his cattle. Blaine was never happier than when talking about cattle or at a cattle show or sale.
Blaine married his high school sweetheart, Tony Miller, on September 4, 1960. They celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary this year. While completing their education, they made their first home in Champaign-Urbana, IL.
After receiving his master’s, Blaine was a food service manager at the University of Illinois. In 1969, Blaine started his career in the meat industry when he joined Wilson Foods where he spent most of his career. Starting in 1983, Blaine served on the Meat Board in Chicago until he retired. His career took his family to Chicago, IL; Cedar Rapids, IA; Albert Lea, MN; and a final stop in Oklahoma City. Blaine and Tony raised two daughters in Oklahoma City. He was an enthusiastic skier, although not a good one. He also loved to attend the Express Cattle Sales in Oklahoma City.
Blaine never lost his love for the people, land, and cattle in western Illinois. He visited often and called to check on things even when he wasn’t there. He will be remembered for his love of family and friends, hearty laugh, and passion for all things agriculture.
Blaine leaves behind a loving family in his wife, Tony; his children, Gwen (Alan) Niemann and Amy (Jim) Martin; grandchildren, Avery and Ashton Niemann and Mary Grace and Miller Martin; his brother, Dwight Shoemaker; nephews, Ryan (Amy) Shoemaker and Justin Shoemaker; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mark and Denise Seligman; niece, Johanna; and four great nephews and nieces