William Blanchard Jr. loved toe-tapping Dixieland jazz and crooning Italian balladeers.
He spent hours trying to solve the puzzles of poker and thoroughbred horse races.
He loved literature - he had Wolfe and Cheever and Frost and Carver on his bookshelf - but he would gut-laugh at a bawdy joke.
He was a caring husband of 55 years to Maria, who called him “love” (or “William” when she was serious).
He was a great dad to their two children, and a loving Grampy to the grandkids.
At age 95, he died Feb. 7 in Frederick, Md. after a brief illness.
Bill was the only child of William Blanchard and Mabelle (Caldwell) Blanchard. He grew up outside Boston, Mass. where he fell in love with the Celtics and Red Sox. He was 78 when the Sox finally won the World Series in 2004.
He graduated from Tufts University after going through an accelerated program near the end of World War II, and served in the U.S. Navy as a quartermaster.
He spent most of his working career as an administrator with the Marriott Corporation, becoming an assistant treasurer who invested money for the company’s pension plan.
The family lived for years in Rockville, Md., before Bill and Maria moved to Frederick in the early 1990s.
Their home became a gathering place for family.
And if anyone ever brought up a trivia question or a brain-teaser, Bill would usually be the first to get it - followed by a triumphant, “Boy, I’m good!” (The staff at Somerford House & Place, where Bill lived the last few years, would recognize that.)
We’ll remember his bravado with a smile.
Bill (Grampy) was preceded in death by his wife, Maria Teresa Blanchard, in 2017; and is mourned by his daughter Diane Hawkins and husband John of Thurmont; granddaughter Elise, grandson Justin and his wife Agostina, granddaughter Rosemary and grandson Robert; and his son Scott Blanchard and wife Betsy of Littlestown, Pa.; and grandson Zachary and his wife Brittany, granddaughter Elin and grandson Luke.
Bill was profoundly moved when, as a young man, he read “Look Homeward Angel” by Thomas Wolfe. He passed it on to his son, who passed it on to his oldest son. We all can take comfort in Wolfe’s words:
“All things belonging to the earth will never change - the leaf, the blade, the flower, the wind that cries and sleeps and wakes again, the trees whose stiff arms clash and tremble in the dark, and the dust of lovers long since buried in the earth - all things proceeding from the earth to seasons, all things that lapse and change and come again upon the earth - these things will always be the same, for they come up from the earth that never changes, they go back into the earth that lasts forever. Only the earth endures, but it endures forever.”
The family will hold a private service at Resthaven Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the charity of your choice.
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