Virginia “Ginny” Blake
Ginny (Rufsvold) Blake, of Grand Forks, North Dakota died May 9, 2023 after a long, difficult battle with cancer. She was born on June 29, 1953 in Lisbon, North Dakota, the daughter of Orville and Esther (Schock) Rufsvold. She grew up in Fort Ransom, North Dakota.
Ginny attended Fort Ransom school through the eighth grade. She then attended Litchville Public High School and enjoyed dance and involvement in their yearly musicals. The summer before her senior year, she met the love of her life, Michael Blake. They dated for three years and married on May 26, 1973.
Ginny graduated from the University of North Dakota in the spring of 1975 with her Bachelor’s Degree in social work. She worked for Grand Forks County Social Services from 1975-1978. In 1980, she earned her Master’s in Counseling at UND. She became Thompson Public Schools first counselor in the fall of 1980 until 1989. Ginny started with the Grand Forks Public School District in the fall of 1989 at J. Nelson Kelly and Belmont Elementary. She started full-time at Kelly in 1994 to 2018 when she retired.
Ginny’s work as a counselor was not only awarded RAMP (Recognized ASCA Model Program), but also noted as a School of Distinction, being one of the six best in the nation in 2017. She was a treasured mentor and leader for many in the field of school counseling.
She will long be remembered for helping countless numbers of children in our community, with her beautiful smile, positive attitude, and amazing ability to connect with each student with whom she worked. Ginny’s greatest joys were her personal relationship with the Lord, being with family, as much as possible, and socializing with her many wonderful friends. She will be deeply missed.
Ginny is survived by her husband, Michael Blake, and her children: Brittney Blake (Tony Meyer) of Grand Forks, ND, Drew (Sarah Almquist Blake) of Grand Forks, ND; sisters Debbie (Kevin) Dawley of Munich, ND and Sharon Ives of Scottsdale, AZ; aunts and uncles: Irving (Judy) Rufsvold of Anoka, MN, Ruth Gyldenvand of Fargo, ND and Gladys Shockman of Oakes, ND; grandchildren: Blakely and Mickey Meyer.
Ginny was preceded in death by her parents.
Memorial services will be 11:00 AM Friday, June 2, 2023 at Hope Church of Grand Forks. Visitation will be for the hour before the service in the church. Arrangements are with Amundson Funeral Home of Grand Forks.