ELKO – Veteran, jeweler, businessman and longtime Elko resident Ted Blohm died Saturday following a long illness.
Blohm was born in 1926 and moved with his family to Elko in 1941 when his father, Wally, purchased a jewelry store and operated it out of the Commercial Hotel. He later became a certified gemologist with the Gemological Institute of America and purchased the business in 1963.
A fixture on the corner of Idaho and Fifth streets for more than 40 years, the modern-styled Blohm’s Jewelers store was built in 1974 with an enlarged showroom and office space.
An Elko High School graduate, Blohm was drafted into the Army during World War II and was stationed in the Philippines, assigned to Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s radio and cable department. Upon his discharge, he was a staff sergeant.
His military career extended after the war with service in the Nevada National Guard, Nevada National Guard Reserve and the Civil Air Patrol. Gov. Richard Bryan appointed him as commander of Elko’s Third Battalion Reserve Unit in 1987.
Blohm retired a colonel with 40 years of service. In 2016, he recounted his experiences with 1st Lt. Dr. George Winch, a World War II and Korean War veteran, at Great Basin College.
Stephen Theriault invited Blohm to speak at the GBC event, which “garnered incredible attendance and a huge outpouring of love by all,” he said.
“I valued his friendship,” Theriault said. He discovered his father and Blohm were both stationed in Manila at the same time in World War II, and noted the loss of another Elko member of the “Greatest Generation.”
“We have lost yet another of these incredible men and role models we so need today to the advance of time,” Theriault said, “but I will always cherish my memories of visiting with Col. Ted Blohm at his store in town and getting to know him more fully.”
VFW quartermaster and adjutant Mike Musgrove said he noticed Blohm’s support of local veterans and his longtime participation in the Navy League.
“He worked real hard for the veterans in the area,” Musgrove said.
In the community, Blohm served four years on the Elko City Council and was on the Elko General Hospital Advisory Board, Great Basin College Foundation and Elko Rotary Club.
A ski instructor, Blohm prepared alpine courses at Squaw Valley for the 1960 Winter Olympics and was heavily involved in athletics and sports.
Blohm married Lina Bilbao in 1965 and they had three daughters: Deborah, Nicole and Kristina.
Services are planned for April 21.