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"VIRGINIA BLANCHARD Centennial Celebration"

This today from my sister Val.

Centennial celebration

Sissy models a robe.

One hundred years ago today, February 19, 1907, Virginia Blanchard was born
Mary Florence Blanchard in Olean, New York, to Clair Blanchard
and the former Ethel May Cuffe.
Six years later she had a little brother named Donn who came to call her Sissy
which became her nickname.  

She was a little tomboy and loved to ride her bicycle with out holding the handlebars.
She would stand up on the pedals with her arms outstretched above her head
trying to touch the leaves on the trees. She had a little Boston Bull dog named Rex.  

She was a sensitive, artistic person, with a little streak of daring.
She once tamed a wild ringtail monkey, named Sonny,
who rode on her shoulders and was her protector.
She loved the roaring twenties and dressed in that style when it was all the rage.
She was very fashion conscious and always wore chic attire even if she made it herself.
Her bright red hair and her make up were always perfect.
She eventually became a model.
She was very well read and loved classical music.
She had a great command of the English language
and was a stickler about its proper usage.

She and John had three children, Jack, Virginia (Ginny) and Valerie.
She had five grandchildren and many great grandchildren.

She had many hardships in her life and never really got to fulfill her potential as an artist,
even though she went to art school and was quite accomplished.
She was a wonderful mother and made life exciting.
She had impeccable taste and knew quality.
She loved nature and often quoted a poem about "October's bright blue weather"

She was sort of an "Auntie Mame".
Even though funds were scarce,
she could and did make any mundane occasion fun and memorable.

She would spend hours playing with her children and reading to them.
They were everything to her.
She made Holidays wonderful.
She has instilled a sense of holiday tradition that will be carried on for generations.

She was famous for her wonderful homemade spaghetti and meatballs
that took hours to prepare.
Her Christmas picture cookies are legendary.

She Made many sacrifices for her family.
She worked in real estate in Coral Gables, Florida,
and was a friend to all who came in contact with her.
One of her clients, an author, described her as saying "Virginia is a gentle soul".

When she was told she had a fatal illness, she was very brave and never complained.
She came home from the doctors office and put on a recording of classical music
and sat quietly listening to every note as though it were the last time she would ever hear it
and was trying to make it last forever.

She always said, if there was any way to make contact with her family
after she passed away, she would.
She was a great sport, with a heart of gold.

There is so much more to say about my mom, but time is short
and I want to publish this on what would have been her 100th birthday.


*     *     *
Me too! Thanks, Val.
Feb. 19, 2007.

Copyright  February 19, 2007 Valerie Armstrong. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission.


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