Mr. Eric John DiBlasi, Sr., 62, of Seymour, passed away on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at his home surrounded by his immediate family. The family shared scripture readings and said the Lord’s Prayer while sitting around his bedside just prior to his passing.
He was born in Buffalo, NY, to Ann Marie (Gorczyca) and Major Philip DiBlasi, who both survive.
His father served in the United States Air Force, taking them to Georgia, Texas and Puerto Rico. They settled in Madisonville, KY in 1969, where Eric met his wife at Madisonville North Hopkins Senior High School, both class of 1974. He ultimately won her over by tying her shoes to her desk right before the bell dismissed them from chemistry class in 1973. On July 16, 1977, he married Joyce Gayle Rowan in Louisville, KY, and she survives.
After graduating University of Louisville in 1978 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a Minor in Religious Studies, Eric enrolled in Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy in Birmingham, AL in 1979. He graduated in 1982. He worked as a pharmacist for 36 years in both hospital and retail settings. In recent years he was an instructor at Ivy Tech for its certified pharmacy technicians program.
Eric and Joyce moved to Seymour, IN in 1988 where they raised three sons – Eric (Madeleine) DiBlasi, Jr. of Seymour, Alex (Alexa Altman) of Portland, OR, and Nicholas (Heather) DiBlasi of Paoli, IN – and they all survive. Family was most important to Eric. He served as Cub Scout Den Leader for Pack 529, coached youth soccer teams and always eager to help in any activities his sons participated. He served on the Ball State University Parent Advisory Board from 2003 to 2006.
Mr. DiBlasi was also of very strong Christian faith, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23 was his work email signature. During his illness he reminded his family, ‘one way or another I will get better.’ He was a member of First Baptist Church of Seymour where he served as a deacon, accompanied the youth group on mission trips, played guitar in the praise band, served as sound system operator and served on many committees over the years. For over a span of 30 years he was also a Sunday School teacher with children and youth. His style and leadership with youth and with his peers was an inspiration to many. During his five-month illness, upon receiving cards, emails and words of encouragement from many people, Eric commented he didn’t realize how many people cared for him.
Anyone who talked to him for more than five minutes picked up on the fact that music was a very important part of Eric’s life. As kids, his sons were introduced to The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who and other favorite classic rock bands. As an avid musician he loved to be home playing one of his many guitars, one of which he restored top to bottom a couple of years ago. He was a member of former contemporary Christian band New Mercy. Les Paul was a major influence on the music he liked to play and the noise he liked to make with his guitar. When Mr. Paul died in 2009 Eric produced and hosted a Les Paul tribute for 96.3 WJAA in Seymour, where he also was co-host of the “Beatles Power Hour” for the past two years.
Eric also appreciated historic architecture, especially works by Frank Lloyd Wright. The sixth member of his family was his 1912 home, which he enjoyed restoring. Another labor of love were his two dogs, Lucy and Zoie, which he was seen frequently walking and as his sons joked, was one of his hobbies.
Eric had a wonderful sense of humor, which he instilled in his sons, and always made life at the DiBlasi house fun. While he came across as quiet, he was on stage for several theatre productions at Jackson County Community Theatre and at First Baptist Church. His favorite quote was from the movie “Harvey,” “‘In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.’ Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote.” and this was reflected in the way he lived.
He is preceded in death by his in-laws, Rev. Charles and Ima Rowan, Sr.; brothers-in-law, Bill Johnson, Chuck Rowan, Jr. and Rev. Gary Rowan; sisters-in-law, Margaret Rowan and Mitzi (Utterback) Rowan; and one great-nephew, Connor Rowan.
He is also survived by his brother, Philip (Jan Hemberger) DiBlasi; brother-in-law, John (Donna) Rowan; sisters-in-law, Patricia Johnson, Susan Rowan, Nancy (Dudley) Young and Annette Rowan; 16 nieces and nephews; and 30 great-nieces and nephews.
Funeral service will be on Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Seymour with Rev. Dr. Bruce Cochran and Rev. Dr. Jeremy Myers officiating. Friends may call on Friday, March 1 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Voss Funeral Service and one hour before the service at the church on Saturday. Burial will be in Louisville Memorial Gardens, West.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be written to Indiana Creek Baptist Camp (located in Bedford, IN) and sent to Voss Funeral Service at 316 N. Chestnut St., Seymour IN 47274.
Online condolences may be given on the funeral home website at www.vossfuneralservice.com.