[Davis Democrats] Re: Christine H. Blanchard

Rhonda Anthony Gruska rjgruska at pacbell.net
Wed Oct 5 11:16:06 PDT 2005

Christine H. Blanchard

By Enterprise staff

Published Oct 04, 2005 - 14:31:01 CDT. 

Christine H. Blanchard, a longtime resident of Davis, died Oct. 1, 2005, at the University Retirement Community. She was 97 years old.

A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, 640 Hawthorn Lane in Davis.

She was born in New York City on Oct. 26, 1907, and was educated in private schools in New York, then graduated from Smith College as a history major. She also attended Simmons College, where she earned her master's degree in medical social work.

During her first years as a social worker in Washington, D.C., she met her future husband, J. Richard Blanchard, who was working in the Library of Congress. The couple married in 1939 and continued to live in Arlington, Va., where their three children were born.

Her husband served in Europe as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Shortly after his return they moved to Lincoln, Neb., where he was the university librarian. Then came the welcome call to Davis, where he served as head librarian at UC Davis from 1951 until his retirement in 1974. 

When the Blanchards arrived in Davis, the population was only 3,354, and then, as now, there was a severe housing shortage. They settled at the edge of town, on West Eighth Street, where the paving ended. Almost immediately she became involved in volunteering to help with community services.

First she was active in the Davis Parent Nursery School, and then she ran successfully for the Davis Board of Education. She served on the board during the tumultuous years of 1962 to 1974. It was during those years that the groundwork was laid for Davis' present excellent school system.

She was always a strong advocate for universal education for every child regardless of background or special abilities. One of her favorite achievements was starting the day care center for the children of migrant farm workers at Ciudad del Sol, just outside Davis.

Her involvement in community activities was wide-ranging. She was among the founders of St. Martin's Episcopal Church, was a charter member and first president of the Yolo Family Service Agency, served on the Davis Human Relations Council, was chairwoman of the Yolo County Grand Jury, was instrumental in founding the Yolo County chapter of Planned Parenthood, helped to found the free clinics in Yolo County, helped create the Economic Opportunity Commission of Davis, and was active in STEAC.

Her activities were well-recognized. Among other citations, she received the Yolo County Bar Association's Liberty Bell award for community service, and she was named Davis Citizen of the Year in 1970. She was also pleased to be given a lifetime membership in the PTA.

Although she was a moderate Republican in her native New York, she soon became an ardent Democrat in Davis. She spent many years promoting Democratic candidates and causes, and recently was re-elected to the Democratic Central Committee of Yolo County. She never missed voting in an election and cherished the right of every citizen to vote.

She was predeceased by her husband, J. Richard Blanchard, and her daughter Mary Elizabeth Bogard.

She is survived by her son, Richard C. Blanchard and his wife Hermie Blanchard of Fremont; and by her daughter, Christine H. Ramm and her husband Edward Ramm of San Diego.

She is further survived by five grandchildren, Michelle C. Blanchard of Stevenson Ranch, R. Craig Blanchard of Oakland, Kelly Mortensen of San Diego; James Ramm of San Diego and Travis Bogard of Gerlach, Nev., and four great-grandchildren, Dominic Pittman, Neiko Pittman, Malieya Pittman and Hayden Mortensen.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be sent to Yolo Hospice, Yolo Family Service Agency or STEAC.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

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