Blanche Ione Neal

November 17, 1919May 19, 2018

Blanche Neal, age 98 years young, of Everett Washington, passed away May 19, 2018. She is survived by seven children: Judith (Randy) Stewart of Puyallup WA, Susan Holdeman of Everett WA, Carol (David) Bruce of Juneau AK, Douglas (Cynthia) of Bellingham WA, Larry of Washougal WA, Tom of Everett WA, and Sara (Jim) Boyer of Kent WA, daughter-in-law Susan Neal of Roy, WA, and by many grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband Donald R Neal, son Lee, son-in-law George “Dick” Holdeman, daughter-in-law Eileen Hayes Neal, and her beloved sister and brother Ada Ruth Colwell and Roy Motichka of Idaho.

Blanche was the 2nd of three children born in Columbia Falls, Montana, to Charles and Nellie B Hyde Motichka. When 2-1/2 years old, the family moved to North Fork, Idaho. She attended grade school at Spring Creek School in North Fork, graduated from Salmon High School with honors in 1937 and then continued her education first by attending and completing business training at Kinman Business University in Spokane, Washington, followed by attending State College of Washington in Pullman (1938-1941) where she was affiliated with Spurs, Sophomore women’s service honorary, and Gamma Beta, economics honorary.

When 21, Blanche married Donald Ray Neal of Seattle Washington in Wrangell, Alaska on August 11, 1941. The first 29 years of her married life was settled in Douglas, Alaska. Initially she worked as lead secretary at the Subport in Juneau. September 1943 Don was called to serve in the US Army and was stationed in Adak and three months later Blanche chose to become a full-time homemaker. Eventually eight children were born and raised in Douglas. Don became chief of electronics at Alaska Coastal Airlines (merged with Alaska Airlines while he was employed there) and, together they enjoyed designing and building two homes in Douglas, hunting, fishing, gardening and an active Douglas social and family life.

In 1970, the family relocated to Washington where they lived in West Seattle and Burien. During those years, the two youngest children living at home completed schooling, Blanche and Don were active in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, as well as she enjoyed quilting, tending her gardens, and chatting on the phone daily with friends and family. Don and Blanche were married 51 years when he passed away in 1992. She eventually moved to Roy to live closer to sons Lee and Larry and later to Everett where she lived with their youngest son Tom and was nearer to children Susie and Doug.

Blanche will be buried beside Don in the Ray Family Cemetery in Auburn, Washington. At her request, there will be no public service. A Celebration of Life will be held for family members at a later date.


Blanche Ione Neal

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Sharon Pusich Gill

June 2, 2018

So sorry to hear of the passing of you mom!
I fondly remember you all living across from my family in Douglas. Your mom was so kind to me, as a young child, I was always impressed by her beautiful garden! She actually gave me some starts so that I could put in a garden in my mom's back yard, when I was just in elementary school. I also remember us kids getting dixie cups of sugar from our house and then going to your house with Sara and Tom and picking long stocks of rhubarb to eat! Fun days sliding down your steep yard and bank in the winter, and taking the trail down to the beach the rest of the year. Oh yes, even the tether ball set up at the end of the road, fun memories growing up next to the Neals in Douglas! The patience our two mom's had raising all those kids at the end of 2nd street! I'm sure my mom and dad greeted her fondly when she joined them in heaven!