Herkimer, NY/Tarpon Springs, FL-It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our mother Karen Ethel Ashley Blask on October 19, 2017. A woman of great strength, determination, spirit, and heart, our mother triumphed over many challenges in her life, from childhood polio up until her final illness. Mom was born New Year's Day in 1940 to Eileen Ashley in Herkimer, NY, where she grew up with her brother Raymond and sister Eileen. She attended and graduated from Herkimer Central School. She was married to Bernard N. Blask for 36 years and had five children, Cheryl, Tim, Brenda, Dave, and Kathleen. Mom always worked. From her babysitting business as a young girl until days before her passing, she worked and worked hard. It was important to her to keep moving, keep busy. After graduating from school, she worked for Herkimer Central School, The Boys Scouts of America, and General Electric. In 1965, she began working with Donald J. Mitchell. From 1965 through 1972, she worked for the NYS Assembly as assistant to Assemblyman Mitchell and as his assistant in his optometric practice. From 1972 until 1983, she continued to work double duty: For the US House of Representatives as assistant to Congressman Mitchell and assistant and fill-in optician at the optometric practice. At one time she was named Herkimer County Republican Woman of the Year. For many years, she assisted in the operation (including cooking, recipe creation and interior design) of Judy's Country Tavern in German Flatts NY. After closing the restaurant, she moved to Tarpon Springs FL, but did not stay retired for long. She began another career as housekeeping supervisor at the Quality Inn and Suites, in Tarpon Springs, where she worked until her passing. Mom was a nester, an organizer, a helper, and a doer. She loved to knit, do puzzles, read murder mysteries, and everything about Bingo (her beloved puppy and the game.) She dearly loved her family, her friends, co-workers, and animals, especially dogs. She leaves behind her children, Cheryl, Timothy (Cindy), Brenda (David Lewis), David (Kerry), and Kathleen (Jeff Gegler,) and her sister Eileen Hysack Trzpuc. She leaves her grandchildren Ryan (Jennifer) Lewis, Jessica (Raymond) Aponte, Eric (Erica) Lewis, Krystina (Stephen Wile) Lewis, Casey and Tyler Blask, and Kieran Gegler. She leaves great grandchildren Layken Lewis, Bryce Lewis, and twin great grandsons due to be born in weeks. She leaves many cousins, nieces and nephews, and dear friends like Pete and Nancy DeLuca and Linda Cox. She was predeceased by her mother, grandparents, brother Raymond, brother-in-law James Trzpuc, and Bingo. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Mom's name to the Herkimer County Humane Society. Did we mention Mom loved animals! The family extends sincere thanks to the staff at The Medical Center at Trinity in New Port Richey FL, especially Dr. DeSantis; Mom's co-workers at the Quality Inn and Suites, Tarpon Springs; Linda Cox for being an amazing friend to Mom and for helping us beyond measure this past week; and to all the family and friends who have reached out to us during this very difficult time. God bless you all. Daniel J. Enea Funeral and Cremation Care, 5860 State Route 5 (near St. Mary's Cemetery), between Herkimer and Little Falls, 315-508-5250, has been entrusted with Karen's funeral arrangements. Relatives and friends are invited to visitation at Dan Enea's funeral home location on Route 5 on Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 2-4:30 pm. There will be no formal service. Burial will take place privately.