Margaret Mary Blanchard

July 28, 1916February 3, 2019

Margaret Mary Blanchard was born in Norwich, Connecticut on July 28, 1916 to parents David A. and Margaret D. (Heibel) Dunn. She married Joseph T. Blanchard in 1946, and together they had five children: Cathy, David, James, Mary, and Barbara. In the early years, Margaret would pack up the children and travel by bus, train and car across the United States while Joe usually stayed at home working through the summer.

Margaret graduated from the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University. While a student in nursing school, she slept on the floor of her sister's apartment to save money. She moved to Portland, Oregon and worked as Head of Nursing for the original Bess Kaiser Hospital in Vancouver, Washington. During that time it was customary for whole bed sheets to be used on examination tables. The sheets were changed between patients. As one of her many accomplishments while working for Kaiser, she implemented the hospital policy of using tissue coverings on exam tables after seeing it in a magazine. She later worked at the Holladay Park Hospital as a nurse in the emergency room and surgery recovery floor prior to her retirement in 1982.

Margaret was a caring nurse. She would carry a roll of Lifesavers Pep-O-Mints in her pocket to offer surgery patients with upset stomachs caused by anesthetic. As part of her caring nature, she would watch television with patients to keep them company during slow periods. She loved babies. She showed by example how to be a good friend. Her friends would call her to help out if they were having a hard time with their grandchildren and would go to their aid even in the middle of the night. Though, she met her match with her great granddaughter, Adelaide's, colic. Margaret helped care for her friends through times of illness as well.

Her many other jobs, talents, and hobbies included: a 4-H Leader for cooking, knitting, and crochet, on call substitute teacher, she spoke many languages including French and Spanish; was an honorary lifetime member of the Northwest Quilters; and a member of the Portland Rose Society.

Following retirement, Margaret kept busy taking classes, sewing, crafting and traveling the world. She would collect refrigerator magnets from each destination to remind her of the places she had been and would send her young granddaughter, Grace a postcard from her travels.

Margaret was a wonderful cook and baker. She made the best snickerdoodles and oatmeal cookies. Margaret loved fruitcake more that anyone we've ever known. While cleaning out the cupboards, an old, discolored tin hidden was found in a dark corner of the highest shelf. Inside the container was a dried up, scary-looking mini fruitcake she had made in the very distant past. Her eyes gleamed and she grinned ear-to-ear. "You're not going to eat that, are you?!" To which Margaret replied: "Yes!" with glee and grabbed the container. One of her granddaughter’s fondest memories is of her sweet tooth. She would always enjoy a little dessert after ‘supper’. Grandma Margaret would always share her stash of miniature Hershey’s bars with her granddaughter while they watched Golden Girls together.

Margaret loved family traditions and would decorate her house for each upcoming holiday. Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren have fond memories of spending Christmas at her house seated around her large dining table filled with delicious home baked foods and mounds of presents waiting to be opened.

Margaret is survived by her son, James; daughters, Mary and Barbara; three grandchildren, Brian, Jason, and Grace; and five great-grandchildren, Adelaide, Jason Jr., Jasmine, Gusmoe, and Malia.


  • Rosary Service Tuesday, February 12, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Tuesday, February 12, 2019
  • Committal Service Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Margaret Mary Blanchard

have a memory or condolence to add?