Cora Ann Blue

Cora Ann Blue. Courtesy photo.

LAKE COUNTY, Calif. — It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our mother, Cora Ann Blue, on Dec. 29, 2021, at the age of 86.

Ann was born Jan. 19, 1935, in Arkansas and was one of four children to Buff and Mattie Roberts.

She was raised in Dyess, Arkansas, a colony that was established in 1934 under the Roosevelt administration to help destitute farmers during the depression.

Life on the farm was hard work and, as a small child, Ann was tasked with wandering the fields to find roots turned up by the plow for firewood for the stove.

She and her mother spent Tuesdays and Wednesdays washing clothes by hand and ironing with a heavy cast iron. And each year was the harvesting of cotton.

Her most famous classmate, country singer Johnny “JR” Cash, was in the same grade as Ann's older brother, Joe.

Cora Ann Roberts, her father and siblings, in Dyess, Arkansas. Courtesy photo.

In 2010, Arkansas State University began a restoration project to preserve Dyess as a heritage site focused on its agricultural history and Johnny Cash. Ann played a significant role in the restoration project by providing Dyess artifacts from her childhood. She was interviewed several times over the years by the director of the project and made several trips to Dyess to support the effort, including recording an oral history.

Ann moved with her family to Stockton, California, when she was 17 years old. It was here where she met and married her husband, Robert “Bob” Blue.

Bob was from New York City and was serving off the coast of the Korean Peninsula in the Navy. Although Bob and Ann had not met in person, Bob’s Navy buddy was married to Ann’s best friend and facilitated exchanging their addresses for correspondence. After six months of writing letters, they finally met and were married four and a half months later in 1954. They spent 63 years together until Bob's passing in 2017.

Ann worked as a telephone operator for Pacific Bell Telephone Co. in Stockton until she took a six-year work hiatus to have her three children: Robert Jr., Elizabeth and Lezlie “KC.”

Cora Ann Blue and her family in Stockton, California. Courtesy photo.

In 1962, the Blue family relocated to Lakeport when Bob started working at Clear Lake High School as a high school history teacher. Soon after arriving in Lakeport, Ann returned to work at Pac Bell's Lakeport office and later commuted to the Ukiah office, eventually retiring as a supervisor after 30 years of service.

During their years in Lakeport, Ann, Bob and their children enjoyed attending church on Sundays, bike rides in Scotts Valley, swimming and canoeing at Highland Springs and Blue Lakes, high school football and basketball games, and fireworks on the lake.

The Blue Family particularly enjoyed cross-country road trips, visiting 48 states and many National Parks.

Ann was also known for her sewing and craftwork, later joining the Lake County Doll Club. She frequently gifted loved ones with dolls made from old sweaters, yarn, buttons, each with unique names and back stories.

Cora Ann Blue. Courtesy photo.

Ann was very active in her community and enjoyed being a member of the Clear Lake Trowel and Trellis Garden Club. She created many unique and beautiful floral arrangements and recently received “Best of Show” for an arrangement at the Lake County Fair.

She also worked with the city of Lakeport by serving on the Planning Commission, the Traffic Safety Committee and the Lakeport downtown beautification committee. She spent many hours developing a walking path through Library Park and downtown Lakeport. In recognition of her efforts, the city of Lakeport named the path in her honor. She was also instrumental in getting historical street signs erected in the downtown area.

Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Buff and Mattie Roberts; her brothers, Joe and Herbert Roberts; her husband, Robert Blue Sr.; and her daughter-in-law, Susan Blue.

Ann and Bob Blue. Courtesy photo.

She is survived by her brother, Carl Roberts; son, Robert Jr. Blue (Melissa Whitney); daughter, Elizabeth (Steve) Huber; and daughter, Lezlie “KC” (Terry) Norton. She is also survived by grandchildren Ian and Leah Blue (Brendan Kucz), Christopher and Nathaniel Huber, Bailey, Brody (Brittany) and Bronson (Danielle) Bramlett, and four great-grandchildren.

Services will be held Monday, Jan. 10, at 1 p.m. at the Hartley Cemetery in Lakeport. All are welcome to attend.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to The Penny Pines Plantation (part of the National Forest Reforestation program) in care of Suzanne Russell with Clear Lake Trowel and Trellis Garden Club, P.O. Box 3, Lakeport, CA 95453.

Ann Blue and her granddaughter, Leah Blue, at Leah’s wedding. Photo by Nirav Patel.