Gerane Marion Block 1928-2022

Tuesday, September 20, 2022
Gerane Marion Block 1928-2022
Gerane Marion Block 1928-2022

Mother danced her way into Heaven, Sept. 7, 2022. The Block Family expresses our appreciation to the Dillon Community for supporting her on her journey, including Home Health, Hospice, Legacy Senior Living, hospitalists and nursing staff at Barrett Hospital, Pastor Daniel Triller and Brundage Funeral Home.

Gerane was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Marion Hauser, a single mother. Her mother died when she was young and she was later adopted by Anna and Charles Johnson. Mother grew up tough, aided by the help of a couple of step-sisters. That toughness carried through her entire life. She married Daniel Block on March 22, 1946, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their marriage was about a year after Victory in Europe Day ended WW II hostilities on Continental Europe. Mom was a 17-year-old WW II bride and Dad was a veteran back from serving in the Eighth Air Corps Bombardier Group stationed in England.

Mother was an artist, musician, gourmet cook, devout Christian, and a clothes horse who liked to wear her bling. Gerane was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel G. Block. She is survived by her sons Garth (Paula) and Bryan (Terri); grandsons Zachary (Melissa), Machi (Christine) and Daniel (Tara); and by greatgrandsons Caden and Dillon. Her parents were against the marriage, with her so young and such a short courtship of only three months, but it is hard to ride herd on young love and hot blood. With their marriage, Mom traded city life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a log cabin off the grid near the North Fork of the Flathead River in northwestern Montana. No water, no electricity, 70 miles from town and six miles from the Canadian Border. During the late 1940s, they were snowbound from late November until mid-April. Dad built the cabin and the first winter the logs were not yet chinked. Mom recalls waking up some mornings with a dusting of snow on the bed covers.

Dad had a fur farm in those early days and raised mink. He started with seven breeding stock and got up to 75 mink within three years. What he could not control were fur prices and with Russia and Japan dumping furs on the world market, the prices soon collapsed, leaving him with lots of hard work but little economic return. It was a daily struggle to keep the wolf away from the door, or in their case, as it happened to be in northern Montana, bears.

Dad worked trail crews for the Forest Service and they packed horses and mules into the back country west of Glacier Park clearing trails. On more than one occasion, he returned to the tent camp to find a bear having a ham sandwich and a can of beans. He soon learned to store the food under water in the mountain streams where the bears could not smell the food. The tents were large canvas wall tents with door flaps on both ends. Dad learned another thing, which was to keep both doors to the tent open when they were out working the trails. A bear, once in the tent, would invariably choose a different way to leave and if there was only one opening, the bear would tear down the tent trying to get out. Dad noted this same thing at his cabin. A bear would break a window to get in and then after eating all the food and rearranging the furniture, would break a different window to leave. Alone while Dad was away on trail crews, Mom spent more than one night beating a pan with a wooden spoon to keep the bears at bay. To this day, one of those bears gives a cold stare as he hangs from the wall in Mom’s art room.

Celebration of Her Life will be held at Legacy-Beehive Senior Center in Dillon at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022.