Onameega was born on August 1, 1930 in East Chicago, Indiana, to Sarah M. Purvis (nee: Turner) and Booker T. Purvis. She was raised in Chicago, Illinois and always felt privileged to take in the city’s rich culture, food and performing arts. As a young adult, she was accomplished in and enjoyed competing in rhythmic gymnastics, excelling in contemporary and popular dancing and playing a great game of tennis.
She married her husband of 49 years, Benjamin Bluitt II, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in 1951. He was a collegiate hall of fame basketball player and coach and she had a genuine love for her spouse and the game. She had a long career as a high school science and physical education teacher. Always an Educator/Student, she had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. She never missed a “teachable moment” with family, friends, those she chose to mentor and even strangers. She always encouraged others to take risks and fully explore what the world had to offer.
Onameega was a true patron of the performing arts and regularly attended the Shakespeare Theatre, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Symphony Orchestra, Opera, Contemporary Dance, Ballet and Folk Dance into her nineties. She loved supporting talent and renowned life-long friends in the world of Jazz. No venue was too small or too grand for her enjoyment.
She traveled with an independent and fearless spirit, ever curious about the different cultures and customs she encountered and voraciously explored. She regularly jumped into her car and drove across country (solo) to visit friends and family or simply see the sights--from walking on glaciers in Alaska to carefully treading on cooled lava flows in Hawaii, from the French Quarter and Congo Square drummers and dancers in New Orleans to climbing Mayan ruins and cruising the Mediterranean Sea. Did you know she “owned” casinos in the Bahamas? Well, not really, but she liked her game of Blackjack and an occasional Pina Colada.. Along these exciting adventures, Onameega often enjoyed family excursions to the movies, many times catching several stamina-testing movies in a day. Known for her meticulous preparation and cooking of tasty dishes, her specialties were homemade gumbo and “spirited” eggnog.
Being the matriarch of her family suited Onameega. Wise and caring, she lovingly nurtured her family. She was approachable, charming, curious and concerned about others. People regularly said she made them feel special—encouraging them to realize their potential. Friends found her to be genuine, sincere and loyal. She made an indelible mark on those she knew and some who simply experienced the effects of her aura from afar.
Onameega made a peaceful transition to eternal life with the Lord on Thursday, November 23, 2023. Her life and love created four generations and left a legacy of generous devotion to family and friends.
Living to cherish her memory are: a daughter, Alison Bluitt Pullins, a son, Benjamin Bluitt III; seven grandchildren: Paul Harris Pullins, Jr. (Carrie), Jason Benjamin Pullins, Sean Lakeith Reasonover, Benjamin Bluitt IV (Andriah), Shakara Shyree Bluitt, Ginae Maria Nicolas (nee: Bluitt) (Morgan), Tinae Alison Bluitt; eight great grandchildren: Mikyla Elizabeth Stalbaum, Kayla Alyse Pullins, Paul Harris Pullins III “Tre”, Peyton Aniyah Pullins, Brayden Anthony Pullins, Journey Briana Pullins, Chase Amari Pullins, Xa’Vyiah Deniece Bluitt; a great great granddaughter: Gianna Sage Stalbaum and a host of devoted and supportive family and friends.