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Obituary Stories

Businesswoman sought gusto in life

Stephen Huba
| Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

Whether she was running a dairy farm, working for an auctioneer, campaigning for her son or selling stuff on eBay, Elinor Carey approached life with a gusto not matched by many.

“Mom was pretty bold,” said her son Harry Blank. “Mom had a natural charm about her. Whenever she met somebody, they automatically liked her. I still have friends from high school ask about her, who just remember her as a genuine person who was very kind and charming.”

When Mrs. Carey remarried in 1996, she persuaded her second husband, Paul Carey, to give up his staid 1932 pickup truck for something faster, said her daughter Mary Ann Quayle.

“The truck went only 40 mph, which wasn't good enough for her. So he sold it and bought a 1968 Mustang convertible, which is what they rode in parades,” Quayle said.

Elinor Raymaley Blank Carey of Unity died Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at Newhaven Court. She was 89.

Born in Penn Township on March 14, 1928, she was the fourth daughter of the late Leland and Leah Raymaley.

She married J. Marshall Blank and operated the J.M. Blank Goat Dairy in Unity with him. They previously owned a conventional dairy farm in Boquet but moved to Unity in 1961 and switched to goat milk, Quayle said.

They milked 80 goats by hand twice a day, pasteurized the milk and bottled it in glass bottles. “Mom did everything. She was like the main hired hand. She kept everything running,” Quayle said. “She was the hands-on operations person.”

Some of the milk was sold to Menzie Dairy in McKeesport and some was delivered by Mr. Blank to residential customers and local retailers twice a week, Quayle said.

The couple sold the farm in the early 1970s, and Mrs. Carey went to work for the Old Republic Insurance Co., from which she retired in 1991. She also worked as the recorder for H.L. Frye, auctioneer.

“She never stopped. She was very savvy businesswise,” Quayle said.

In retirement, Mrs. Carey stayed active with golf, auctions, antiques, car clubs and eBay sales. She campaigned for her son Jacob “Jake” Blank Jr. when he ran for Unity supervisor.

Mrs. Carey was preceded in death by her first husband, J. Marshall Blank Sr., and her second husband, Paul Carey.

She is survived by four children, Marsha J. Kashurba and her husband, Dennis, of Unity, Jacob M. Blank Jr. and his wife, Jennifer, of Unity, Harry R. Blank and his wife, Brenda, of Unity, and Mary Ann Quayle and her husband, Casey, of Redmond, Wash.; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Leo M. Bacha Funeral Home, 2072 Route 130, Pleasant Unity, where friends were received Thursday. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery, Penn Township.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1280, or via Twitter @shuba_trib.

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