Raymond M. Blanchard, age 84, of Decorah, Iowa, died Sunday, January 26, 2014 at Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare in La Crosse, WI.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:30 P.M. Sunday, February 2, 2014 at Decorah Lutheran Church with Rev. Bryan Robertson and Rev. David Sorensen officiating. Burial will be at 10:30 A.M. Monday, February 3 in Oak Hill Cemetery in Nashua, IA, with full military honors.
Visitation will begin at 1:30 P.M. Sunday, one hour before the service, at Decorah Lutheran Church.
Raymond Millard Blanchard was born August 28, 1929 to Ruth Hicock and Millard Blanchard in Nashua, Iowa, where he grew up and resided for the first part of his life. Ray was baptized June 10, 1934 at the First United Methodist Church in Nashua. He was a 1948 graduate of Nashua High School. Ray attended Illinois Tool Company Gear School in Chicago, IL, IBM School in San Jose, CA, Time and Motion Study at Iowa State University, and Liebherr Gear School in Kempton, Germany.
Ray started working at the age of 11 at the local ice house. Ray began his professional employment at White Farm Equipment (Oliver) in Charles City as a Machinist in 1948. He advanced in his career there to the position of General Manager and was employed for 41 years.
During Ray’s employment with White Farm Equipment, he took a leave during 1952-1955 to serve in the United States Marine Corps, where he achieved the rank of Sergeant. He was honored with Sharp Shooter and Expert Rifleman Medals. Ray was very proud to serve in the armed forces.
After Ray’s retirement from White Farm Equipment, he had his own Consulting Business. In the most recent years Ray has enjoyed his home at Whispering Springs (in rural Decorah) trout fishing, hunting, gathering morels, taming feral cats, walking in the woods, planting beautiful gardens, cutting wood and fishing on the Mississippi River. He was a member of the Decorah Lutheran Church and served as an Usher. Ray was a conservationist and supported the Humane Society of Northeast Iowa.
Ray was united in marriage to Janice Tyler on July 6, 1991 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Ray is survived by his wife Jan Blanchard of Decorah; daughter Raelynn (Chis) Bowcock of Palm City, FL; stepdaughters Angela Sadler of Mason City, IA, Laura (Phil) Ramsey of Mooresville, NC; stepson David C. Sadler of New Haven, CT; sister Mildred Noling of Charles City, IA; half brother Gerald (Kaye) Blanchard of Oskaloosa, IA; five grandchildren: Brandon Ramsey of Mooresville, NC, Andrew (Jessica) Bousky of Arlington, VA, Janna (David) Lay of Mooresville, NC, Michael Bousky of North Glen, CO and Patrick Bousky of Austin, TX. Raymond is also survived by Suzette Ballagh of Ames, IA, his only niece.
Ray was preceded in death by his mother Ruth and father Millard; his wife of 30 years Donna Blanchard; his half brother Weldon Blanchard; and his brother-in-law Mervin Noling.
The family asks for any memorials to be designated to: Humane Society of Northeast Iowa (HSNEI) Building Fund, P.O. Box 76, Decorah, IA 52101.