Theodore (Ted) Blohm (pictured), longtime owner of Blohm Jewelers in Elko, Nev., died March 24 at his home. He was 91.
Blohm’s parents, Wally and Ethel, owned a retail jeweler and watch repair store in Muscoda, Wis. In August 1941, they moved to Elko and set up a jewelry store there.
Blohm attended Bradley Technical School in Peoria, Ill., where he earned a watchmaking degree. He put his jewelry career on hold to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II, where he was stationed in Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters in the radio and cable department.
When Blohm returned home at 21, he was appointed commander of his local American Legion post. His appointment made national news, as he was the youngest post commander in U.S. history. In 1948 he reactivated the Elko National Guard, and in 1975 organized the 221st Transportation Battalion. In 1978 he retired from the military as a full colonel.
In the 1950s, Blohm became one of the first graduates of the Gemological Institute of America. He also earned a certified gemologist degree from the American Gem Society. In 1963, he purchased the store from his father Wally and expanded the store and moved its location.
Blohm also served on the Elko City Council from 1977 to 1981 and was president of the Rotary Club of Elko, the Navy League, and the local ski club. Outside of jewelry, Blohm’s passions included flying his Piper Malibu airplane, downhill snow skiing, and golfing.
Blohm is survived by his wife of 53 years, Lina; daughters Nicole, Kristina, and Deborah, who is also in the jewelry business; and five grandchildren.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Elko American Legion Post 7, War Veterans Fund, c/o Jim Byars, 1916 View Dr., Elko, Nev. 89801 or to the Boys and Girls Club of Elko.
Photo courtesy of Deborah Blohm