Charlene Blahnik Obituary

Charlene Frances Blahnik
Charlene Frances Blahnik

April 5, 1937 - February 13, 2017
Born in Bend
Resided in Bend, OR


Charlene Frances Blahnik passed away peacefully from this life and to her God at the Partners In Care Hospice on February 13, 2017. She is survived by her husband David, daughter Kristin, son Jay, sister Susie Penhollow, son-in-law Francisco Okhuysen, granddaughters Gabriela and Rebeca Okhuysen and son-in-law Ryan Blahnik.
Charlene was a native of Bend, born April 5, 1937 to Charles and Millie Chopp, both pioneer families of Deschutes County. She attended St. Francis Elementary School for 8 years after spending her early childhood years in the nearby lumber camps. She graduated from Bend High School in 1955, continued her education at COCC and graduated from Central Washington University with a Degree in Fine Arts.
Charlene began her early career with the American Red Cross assigned to their cultural exchange program, serving in Japan, Korea, and Europe. While in Europe, she continued her art education at the Beaux Arts Academy in Nancy, France. During this time, she had several one-women art shows in local galleries. After 3 years, she was reassigned to Orleans, France as the local cultural center director. It was there that Charlene met her future husband, David, who was serving as a logistics officer for the US Army.
Charlene left the Red Cross to pursue new adventures. After 6 months of courtship, Charlene married David on January 22, 1966 at the St. Francis Church in Bend. She followed David to a new assignment in Taegu, Korea, and daughter Kristin was born on January 3, 1967. Her new family moved to Ft. Hood, Texas where son Jay was born on June 13, 1968. She and David began a 20 year odyssey of travel to Virginia, Maryland, Washington D.C., Panama Canal Zone, Germany, Wyoming and California.
Throughout these travels, Charlene continued with her painting and added stained glass windows and jewelry making to her repertoire. Over the years, she won many awards and competitions, including having a painting shown in the U.S. Congressional offices of the Wyoming delegation. She led many art groups and taught art to young children for the Art Guild of greater Stockton, CA.
She returned to Bend in 1997, and began another adventure into the craft making field, spending 10+ years volunteering for the High Desert Museum in their annual arts and crafts fund raising efforts. In her later years, she turned to china painting, which proved to be a new and fascinating form of art expression. Charlene was one of those rare art talents who could whip together extraordinary compositions from virtually any medium. Her own home is filled with her creations and remains a treasure for her family and friends to remember her. Charlene saw beauty everywhere and captured it.
A funeral mass will be held on February 19th at 10 a.m. at the Old Historic St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Bend, Oregon. An interment at Pilot Butte Cemetery will be held April 15, 2017, at 10 a.m..
A celebration of life is planned for the near future. Donations can be made in her name to the Deschutes County Historical Society or the Partners in Care Hospice in Bend.




Old Historic St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
599 NW Lava Rd
Bend, OR 97701
Sunday, February 19, 2017
10:00 AM
Pilot Butte Cemetery
Bear Creek Rd
Bend, OR 97701
Saturday, April 15, 2017
10:00 AM


Deschutes Historical Museum and Society
127 NW Idaho Ave
Bend, OR 97701
Partners In Care Hospice
2075 NE Wyatt Ct
Bend, OR 97701
We provide patient-centered care that honors the dignity and needs of those we serve. We sustain an organization that enriches the lives of our patients, families, team and community.