Jeannine L. Blanchard passed away on March 6, 2019, in Fresno, California, at the age of 86, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2019, at 2:00 PM at Lac qui Parle Lutheran Church, rural Dawson, MN. Rev. Bruce Bringle will officiate and interment will be in the church cemetery. All are welcome.
Jeannine L. (Torstenson) Blanchard was born on September 26, 1932, at home on a farm near Dawson, Minnesota. She was the first of three children born to Bardolph (“Bud”) and Selma (Hastad) Torstenson. Jeannine grew up on the farm, surrounded by a loving extended Norwegian family. She attended a one-room country grade school, arriving by horse and sleigh with her father in the winter. She was confirmed at age 13 at Lac qui Parle Lutheran Church, and then attended high school in Dawson, where it was said she was “lovely to look at, delightful to know.” She attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis and nursing school at St. Barnabas Hospital, graduating with an R.N. degree in 1952. She worked as a surgical nurse at North Memorial Hospital for several years. She made many close friendships during her years in Dawson and Minneapolis.
Jeannine married Robert Blanchard on August 4, 1956, at Lac qui Parle Lutheran Church, and the couple bought a home near Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. They had two children, Dan and Sara. The family moved to El Centro, California, in 1965, and then to Fresno in 1967, where Jeannine got her master’s degree and worked for many years at the Central California Blood Center.
Jeannine lived a life of adventure, curiosity, learning, and friendship. She loved literature and music, and was an avid traveler, reader, book club member, and tennis player. She sang in church choirs, served as a PEO member, belonged to Bethel Lutheran Church, and participated in the National Society of Arts and Letters with her husband for many years. She took her children to Europe, to her ancestral home in Norway, and to her parents’ farm every summer. She had a courageous, faithful, and steadfast spirit, and she will be deeply missed. She was
predeceased by her beloved husband, Robert, and is survived by her children, Dan of San Diego and Sara of Fresno; their spouses, Jennifer and David; her grandchildren, Rachel, Rebecca, and Danny; her siblings, Gale Torstenson of Minnesota and Marcia Torstenson of England; their spouses, Barbara and David; and many other treasured relatives and lifelong friends.
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