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Lee Blanchard, a resident at the Christian Health Care Center in Wyckoff, New Jersey died after a brief illness on June 25, 2012 at the age of 94. Daughter of Jeannette and Harold Blanchard, Lee was born on May 21, 1918 in New Haven, Connecticut. A graduate of Skidmore College, Lee also received a Masters in Biology at Fairfield University. Her career of many years was as a teacher of Biology at Career High School, a science magnet school in New Haven, Connecticut. Lee was married to William Merritt Hotchkiss, Jr. who predeceased her. She married John Durward in 1976, who also predeceased her. Greatly loved by her daughters and their husbands, Barbara Blanchard Hotchkiss Mott and Frederick Mott of Northford, Connecticut , Delight and Frank DeBernardis of Ridgewood, New Jersey as well as her best friend Ruby Barker of Paterson. She was also the beloved step mother of James Durward of San Diego and Nancy Ellison of Cape Cod. Lee is the most beloved grandmother of Elizabeth and Kris Orlando, William Mott, Catherine and Ben Miller, Alexander Mott and David Mott, Jennifer and Perry van der Meer and Andrew and Melissa DeBernardis. Lee's great grand children are Kevin, Jasmine and Justin Orlando, Carynna Mott, Izabella Mott and Eli Miller. In addition Kat van der Meer, William and Lea DeBernardis. They all loved her too. Lee was a life-long learner with a curiosity about every one she encountered, and always sought out new experiences in life from yoga to new types of painting techniques to new technology. She was an avid sailor, and early in life obtained her pilot's license. Lee was a teacher in her career, and in her life, and she affected not just the hundreds of her biology students in New Haven, but also her friends and family. She was her own social network, and cultivated her friendships from early childhood, her college friends at Skidmore, her friends from Connecticut and her wide circle of friends in New Jersey. Her deepest passion was spending time with her family especially if she was near the salt waters of Connecticut and Long Island. Lee was a happy person by nature of her habits of generosity, gratitude, learning, teaching, and love. She taught all of us how to live a better life. A fine artist for many years, in her later years she began to paint bird houses as special presents to her family. A memorial service will be held on June 28, 2012, 11 AM, at Saint Elizabeth's Church, 169 Fairmont Road, Ridgewood, New Jersey. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Elizabeth's Church (Choir Scholarship Fund) in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Burial will be private at Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport, Connecticut at the convenience of the family. www.feeneyfuneralhome.com
Published in The Record on June 27, 2012