Helen L. Blanchard, age 89, mother of Cheryl (Joe) Penry, passed away peacefully after a special blessing with holy-water by her caregiver, Rowena,-a perfect ushering into heaven for Helen. She lived her life using and distributing holy-water.
A Rosary Service will be held for her at St. John of the Woods Catholic Church, Tacoma, Tues., Dec.21, at 7pm. A funeral mass will be held at the same church on Wed., Dec.22, at 11am, reception following. Her burial service will take place at Holyrood Cemetery, Seattle, on Thurs., Dec. 23, at 11am.
Saying the Rosary was an important form of prayer for her throughout her lifetime. How many hundreds of times did she say the "Hail Mary", which includes, "pray for us now, and at the hour of our death. Amen"? That prayer was answered in a spectacular way; her final couple of years were spent in St.Therese Adult Family Home, with a shrine inside the front entrance, and faith-filled, gifted caregivers (Victor and Rowena Reyes).
Helen was preceeded in death by her husband, Bill, in 1959. She always looked forward to being with him again in heaven. Also, her brother, Melvin, will be met with affection in that region of love.
She is survived by her daughter, Cheryl, and son-in-law, Joe Penry. Three grandchildren were blessings in her life-Daren (Nadja), Tara (Brent), and Jolie (Samuel). Then great-grandchildren, too, blessed her final years-Michaela & Matthias, Svea, and Griffin. A fifth great-grandchild is expected on her 90th birth-date, Mar. 30th.
Helen was born in High River, Alberta, Canada, and lived in the Vulcan, Alberta, area for her growing-up years. In 1939 her family moved to Everett, WA, and there she spent most of her adult years, until moving to be close to her daughter in Tacoma in 2003.
Helen proudly paid $50 for her Beauty School training in Everett as a young person. She babysat for 10 cents an hour to earn the money before starting training, and then cleaned up after school in the shop to continue her certifications. After her husband's death at a young age, she supported herself and her daughter as a "Beautician". She continued to "do hair" until age 81, when she would have continued if we had given her scissors.
Helen's family was always very important to her. She is survived by her sisters, Laura Campbell, Mabel Moore, and La Verne Anhorn. She is survived by brothers Howard Rebbe, Owen Rebbe, and Gaylen Rebbe.
Numerous nieces and nephews remember her cookies, cakes and pies, especially "Aunt Helen's Crumby-Cake".
Equal to her affection for her family was Helen's affection and dedication to her church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, in Everett, WA, where she was an active member from 1942 to 2003.
Her lifetime was spent in service to her community--not by belonging to many clubs, but by spending her days on her feet or on her knees-"doing hair", baking desserts of all kinds, or praying. Untold numbers of times she went to people's homes in the evening after a work-day to wash and pin-curl some lady's hair who could no longer get out of the house.
Saints are people who live with extraordinary love. She was a good model for all of us.