By Ron Hayes

MANALAPAN — Maureen and Peter Blum were baptized in the same church as children, met in high school, wed young and remained devoted to each other through 60 years of married life. “She was the love of my life,” said her husband, a town commissioner since 1973. “We married young, but we both had good families who loved us both, so that was part of our success.”
Mrs. Blum passed away Jan. 30 at Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton, seven months after suffering a stroke. She was 78 and had lived in Manalapan since 1971.
With her husband, Mrs. Blum opened Blums of Boca Raton, an interior design studio, in 1963. “We were in business together for 30-odd years,” Peter Blum said. “She was a brilliant designer with the greatest taste and feel for fabrics and so on. It was just a natural gift.”
While her husband kept a high public profile, serving on the Town Commission since 1973 except for one year, Mrs. Blum treasured her privacy.
“She minded the store so I could go out in the community and do all the civic things I love,” he explained. “She was the power behind the throne.”
After the couple’s retirement, Mrs. Blum devoted much of her time to a passion for gardening.
“She was out in the yard every morning as soon as it got light, working with the yard people,” her husband recalled. “Every plant was important to her. It was her lifelong love, next to me.”
Born April 4, 1930, in Peoria, Ill., Mrs. Blum was known as Teena to her family and friends.
“She was a lady in every way,” Peter Blum said. “Her dress was very stylish, but never overdone, and she did her own hair and make-up.”
She visited a beauty salon only twice in her life, he recalled.
“She didn't like to hear the gossip in a beauty shop,” he explained. “She was very reserved, a private person. She was not the kind that went to ladies’ parties and gossiped.”
In addition to her husband, she is survived by two sons, Randy of South Bend, Ind., and Larry, of Truth or Consequences, N.M., three grandchildren and six great grandchildren. A fourth son, Peter III, preceded her in death.
A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb.7, at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church, 643 NE Fourth Ave., Boynton Beach.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice by the Sea, 1531 W. Palmetto Park Road, Boca Raton, FL 33486.
Scobee-Combs-Bowden Funeral Home, Boynton Beach, is in charge of arrangements.

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