John Joseph Bliley

April 3, 1944 ~ June 5, 2018 (age 74)

I lost the love of my life, John Joseph Bliley, at 7:38pm on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 due to pancreatic cancer.

John was born to Joseph and Dorothy Mae (Housour) Bliley on April 3, 1944 in Mishawaka, Indiana. They preceded him in death along with his sister Carolyn (infant), and his brother Richard E. Bliley (2014).

John enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and served from 1965 to 1969. He served most of the time with the riverine units. He loved his time in the Navy and was honorably discharged as a QM2. Unfortunately, years after, he suffered several medical problems as a result of the exposure to Agent Orange.

John worked several years at Wood Lake Scout Camp starting as the chaplain and finally as the aquatics director. He was also a South Bend Police Officer in the Traffic Division for a couple of years. He was a manager for McDonald’s at stores in Niles, Elkhart and Roseland. As his health permitted, he delivered flowers for Flowerama until his retirement.

As a caring person and a wonderful listener, John served as the director of Suicide Prevention Center in the early 1980s. He was always willing to help and lend support to any and all. He enjoyed talking with and counseling other veterans as a member of the American Legion.

Through most of his life, John enjoyed a strong commitment, faith and fellowship with many friends at Evangel Heights Church. In recent years, John was also blessed with comfort, support, and friendship with his Eastern Orthodox groups.

John loved to sing. He began in the musical productions while at Central High School and singing in the Chancel choir at church. Later, he and his son sang barbershop with the Valleyaires and in a couple shows with the South Bend Civic Theater.  John also took up cross-stitch and became very proficient.

John met his future wife while attending the same church. He was ten years old and she was seven. Fifteen years later, they married on January 24, 1970 at Evangel Heights United Methodist Church, and Pamela R. Spurgeon became Mrs. John Bliley.

John is survived by Pam, his wife of 48 years; son, John J. (Katie) Bliley II of Lexington Park, MD; sisters-in-law, Paula K (Daniel) Spink of Granger, IN, and Patricia M Spurgeon of South Bend; former sisters-in-law, Lorraine Bliley of Mishawaka, IN, and Jane (David) Moore of Houston, TX. John is also survived by a cousin, Carol (Herbert) Welsch of Ft. Myers, FL; several nieces, nephews, great nieces /nephews; and special friends, Rosemary Lindahl, Jason Day, Anthony DeMarco, and Donnie Hunter.

Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00pm on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at Palmer Funeral Home—Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN. Funeral services will be held at 12:00pm on Wednesday, June 13th at Evangel Heights United Methodist Church, 114 N. Ironwood, South Bend, with visitation starting at 11am, for one hour prior to services at the church. Pastor Pat Somers and Father Lev Wawrzyniak will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network,, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Ste. 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266; American Diabetes Association, 8604 Allisonville Rd. Ste. 140, Indianapolis, IN 46250-5541; or Evangel Heights United Methodist Church, 114 North Ironwood Drive, South Bend, IN 46615.

Online condolences may be left for the Bliley family at

Donations may be made to:

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach CA 90266

American Diabetes Assocation of Indiana
8604 Allisonville Road Suite 140, Indianapolis IN 46250
Tel: 1-317-352-9226

Evangel Heights United Methodist Church
114 N. Ironwood Drive, South Bend IN 46615
Tel: 1-574-234-8379

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