Florence Blanchard


Florence Persus Blanchard, 102.

Florence Persus Blanchard, 102, a resident of Goldendale, Washington passed away Saturday, February 21, 2015 in The Dalles, Oregon.

Florence was born December 9, 1912 in a Wedgwood family home on Oak Flat Road east of Goldendale, Washington. She was the second of six children born to Grover and Ida (Parker) Wedgwood. She was raised on the family farm on Hoctor Road and graduated from the eighth grade at Klickitat County School District number 27, also called Oak Flat, in 1927. In order to attend high school in Goldendale, Florence worked for her room and board with local families and graduated from Goldendale High School in 1931. In addition to the Parkers and Wedgwoods, she was also a descendant of the Ellis family, all early settlers of Klickitat County.

Florence and Clair Blanchard were married October 27, 1936 in Stevenson, Washington. They lived on the Blanchard ranch above Cliffs, Washington and then in Maryhill, Washington. They moved to their home south of Goldendale in 1971 and Florence lived there until she moved into a care facility in 2013. Clair was the Maryhill Museum Ranch Manager from 1939 to 1966. Florence loved to ride horses and helped on the ranch as much as her other responsibilities would allow. Any excuse to ride a horse would do, and she rode into her 80's.

She was the postmistress of the Maryhill Post Office from 1955 to 1963, when it closed. She worked at the Goldendale Post Office from 1964 until her retirement in 1980. During the Cold War in the 1950's she was a member of the U.S. Air Force Ground Observer Corps as a civilian volunteer. It was a series of Civil Defense programs in the United States to protect against air attack. By 1952 the program was expanded and named Operation Skywatch with over three-quarters of a million volunteers, mostly women, taking shifts at over 16 thousand posts and 75 relay centers. She had a book of airplane silhouettes with which she used to identify planes.

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Florence was preceded in death by her husband Clair Blanchard, in 1983, son Gary Blanchard in 2003, and siblings Hugh Wedgwood, Jean Robison, Helen Rampley, and Irene Mawhirter.

She is survived by daughter Artie Jo Blanchard of Olympia, WA and son Lyle Blanchard and his wife Linda of Goldendale, WA. She is also survived by granddaughters Tiffany Nash, Renee Harlow, Holly Blanchard and Amy Cottrille, and great-grandchildren Brett and Clara Nash, Finn Harlow, and Talia, Ian, and Ronan Cottrille, and her brother, Dan Wedgwood.

At her request, there will be no funeral service. Remembrances may be made to an animal rescue organization of your choice.


Reader Comments

debe1160 writes:

I have wonderful memories of Mrs. Blanchard while living in Maryhill. These memories bring a smile to my face. Please accept my condolences and know that she will be remembered! Denise (Barrett) Petersen


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