A celebration of the life of Rebecca L. (Trowbridge) Blocher, 68, Lawrence, will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 31, 2017, at First United Methodist Church, Lawrence, Kansas. Rebecca died Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Kansas City Hospice House, Kansas City, Missouri, following a brief illness. Inurnment in Lawrence’s Oak Hill Cemetery will follow the service.
She was born January 4, 1949, in Ellsworth, Kansas, the daughter of Donald Louis and Josephine McKittrick Trowbridge. She lived in Wilson, Kansas, until 1957 when her family moved to Russell, Kansas. Rebecca graduated in 1967 from Russell High School and in 1971 from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in language arts education. She earned a master’s degree in 1996 in gifted and talented education, also from KU.
She married William Kim Blocher (Lt. Colonel USAF Ret.) on December 9, 1972, in Fairway, Kansas. The couple were stationed at Offutt Air Base in Omaha, Nebraska; Kingsley Field Air Base in Klamath Falls, Oregon; Ramstein Air Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany; and ultimately at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They welcomed their daughter, Erin Elizabeth, on May 15, 1981. The family were longtime members of Sunrise United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs. The couple ended their marriage in 1997.
Rebecca held civil service positions in the U.S. Air Force with USAF Europe Headquarters Manpower and the Air Force Academy registrar’s office. She also coordinated youth education for Sunrise United Methodist Church.
During her career as an educator, Rebecca focused on high-ability learners. She worked with gifted learners as an honors English teacher, a building program coordinator, and a district level coordinator, serving in districts in Kansas and Colorado. She worked as the director of gifted education for Denver public schools and, for five years, served as the director of gifted education for the state of Oregon. She also was active with the National Association for Gifted Children and its state affiliates.
Rebecca was known for her hearty laugh, sense of humor, social nature, and close relationships with friends and family. She was a loving and devoted mother.
Survivors include her daughter, Erin Elizabeth Blocher, Kansas City, Missouri; a brother, David M. Trowbridge, Wilson, Kansas; a sister and brother-in-law, Caroline Trowbridge and Alan Zimmerman, Lawrence, Kansas; and a niece, Sarah Zimmerman, Seattle.
The family suggests memorial contributions to the University of Kansas School of Education or Wilson United Methodist Church, sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, 66044.