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Jim Blanco

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Jim Blanco Obituary
Jim Louis Blanco died peacefully in his sleep on October 26, 2013. He was the faithful and much loved husband of Dianne Hayes Blanco for 43 years and a wonderful father to Dr. Laurie Jennifer Blanco and father-in-law to Dr. R. Todd Hurst. He was a devoted grandfather to Taylor Dianne and Emma Rose Hurst. They will always have fond memories of playing checkers and Zingo and learning to play softball and catch with their grandfather. He adored them from the moment they were put in his arms. All who knew him knew all about Taylor and Emma. Jim is survived by his brothers, Tim and Tom, his sister-in-law, Mary, and his niece Michelle and her husband Chuck Wasserstrom and their daughters, Nicole and Danielle. His sister-in-law, Virginia Keyes, his niece Kimberly and her husband, David Hergett, and their daughters, Lynsey and Emily, also survive him as well as his sister-in-law, Elisabeth Hayes, and his nieces, Annette, Gretchen and Lili, and their children, Sophie, Kelsey, Dallas and Tristan. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Lavonne Blanco, and his aunt, Nadine Marliere, who helped raise him when his mother became ill. His and his aunt's devotion to his mother was undisputed. Many were the nights he would interrupt a date with Dianne to go home to help get his mother into bed. Jim was a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana with a B.S. in political science and a J.D. from the University of Illinois School of Law. He practiced law at First Chicago, was a partner at Winston & Strawn, and ended his successful career as a Maguire Woods partner in Brussels, Belgium. His real calling emerged after he retired from law. Quietly he began a loving dedication to volunteer causes. He went to New Orleans twice with new-found friends at Fourth Presbyterian Church to build new homes for victims of Hurricane Katrina. He became a fixture at Monday Night Supper at Catholic Charities and was adept at making every dinner he supervised a success. He often drove the truck to get the food and make sure all was ready for the dinner. He volunteered for Friday Night Supper and it was not unusual for him to run over to the church to stuff envelopes or make sandwiches with his friends. The day he died he was looking forward to surprising the church with a new grill for their final picnic at its Chicago farm. He went from the mental regime of the law easily and happily to a more physical and satisfying employment helping others. Volunteering did not end at the church. He was an avid White Sox fan and in the last few years met a whole new group of friends volunteering through the White Sox Foundation to paint and clean up schools and parks in Chicago. Jim was a humble man who touched many people with his wit, his intelligence and his love. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends. In lieu of flowers, please remember Jim by either donations in memory of his mother to the Multiple Sclerosis Society or of a much loved minister and friend, Dana Ferguson, to Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E Chestnut, Chicago Illinois 60611. To honor Jim, we will hold a memorial service at Fourth Presbyterian Church at Michigan Avenue and Delaware Street in Chicago on Saturday, November 16 at 10:30am. Arrangements by CENTRAL CHAPEL, Lane-Moynihan Directors, Downtown Chicago. For information or to express your thoughts or memories in the online guest book, 312-944-6060, or www.chapelc.com or www.facebook.com/centralchapel.
Published in Chicago Tribune on Nov. 3, 2013
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