All indications are that there will be an extremely large crowd at services for Staff Sgt. Steve Blass 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Estherville High School gymnasium. We are not making this point to keep people away, but rather to encourage everyone to come who can, and to have patience with everyone else who shows up.
The doors will open at 1 p.m. That should give plenty of time for everyone to find a seat. The service shouldn't take over an hour, so please be patient in leaving. If you can, please wait for others to leave before leaving yourself.
Undoubtedly, the parking lot will be crammed. If there's traffic control, please follow the police officers' directions. If there isn't, please do the polite thing and take turns as you leave the parking lot, first one person turning out on one side then the next person from the other.
The cortege will process from the high school and down Central Avenue, so everyone who wants to view the procession should be in place by 3 p.m.
This has been a very emotional time for a lot of people in Estherville - not just Steve's family but also his family and friends. We're sure that Steve's family would like everyone in Estherville to have a good memory of his celebration of life.
Meanwhile, we are absolutely astounded at the heartfelt support that is going to the Blass family. Several times a day, we hear of organizations wanting to give hundreds of dollars to the family. And that's important. Steve's wife Tricia will need money to continue her college so she can provide for Hayden and Hayden will need a college fund as well. Steve, who had planned on providing for them for the rest of his life, can no longer do that because he gave everything that he had for his country.
Donations in Steve's memory may be made to the:
SSG Steve Blass Fund
Employees Credit Union
2714 Central Ave.
Estherville, IA 51334