Gloria S. Blanchard

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CHITTENDEN - Gloria Ann (Steagall) Blanchard, 90, passed away Friday, June 7, 2013, at her daughter's home in Chittenden where she had lived for the past three years.

She was born Oct. 26, 1922, in Orange, Texas, the daughter of Fannie (Harris) and Millard Steagall. After living in Louisiana, she graduated from high school in Ocala, Fla.

Jacksonville, Fla., was where she met Phillip Nelson Blanchard of Rutland, Vt., who was stationed there with the U.S. Army Air Corps. On June 19, 1942, they eloped to St. Augustine where they married.

After numerous relocations stateside, as well as to Guam, Phillip retired from the military. Gloria happily moved to their big, old, Victorian home in Rutland to finish raising their children. During this time, she also worked at the Economy Department Store for many years. She opened her own women's lingerie shop, Gloria's, in 1981; the shop stood for 12 years at the corner of Merchants Row and West Street.

She was active at Grace Church in the Women's Fellowship, King's Daughters Mary Martha Circle, Sewing Circle, and taught Sunday school. In earlier years, she belonged to the officer's wives clubs at various military bases and was a Brownie and Cub Scout leader.

Having her family fill her house was her favorite time, as well as shopping for just the right outfit. A dog lover always, she raised many throughout her life and kept a photo album of them all. She and her husband enjoyed traveling; one of their last trips was to see the Passion Play performed once every 10 years in Germany.

Gloria was predeceased by her husband, U.S. Air Force Ret. Lt. Col. Phillip N. Blanchard, on Feb. 1, 1999; an infant grandson, Jason Blanchard; her brother, Robert Steagall; and a niece, Gloria Steagall.

Survivors include five children, 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, as follows:

son Briar Blanchard, M.D., of Florida, and his children, Devyn Miner and her husband Jason and her mother Barbara Blanchard, Troy, his wife Rachel and Brooke Blanchard and their mother Sharon Drager, Kyrk and Skye Blanchard and their mother Evangeline Miculov, Storm Blanchard and her mother Evelyn Gumabao;

daughter Clarice Pond and husband Robert of North Chittenden and their children, Charlee Wessing and her husband Thomas and their sons, T.J. and Phillip, and Aaron Pond and his wife Brenda and their children, Leo and Chelsea;

son John Blanchard of Burlington and his children, Holly Ford and her husband Ron and her mother Joanne Blanchard, Adam, Amanda and Zachary Blanchard and their mother Janine Loprete;

daughter Susan Blanchard of Rutland and her daughter, Tiffany;

son Mark Blanchard and wife Michelle of Fleming Island, Fla., and their children, Jared, Danielle and Matthew.

Also surviving are Gloria's sister-in-law, Barbara Hurd and husband Walter of California, nieces and nephews, and Gloria's little dog, Lily.

The celebration of Gloria's life will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 18, at the Grace Church Chapel followed by interment in Baird Cemetery in Chittenden.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Grace Congregational United Church of Christ, Court Street, Rutland, VT 05701.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Aldous Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published in Rutland Herald on June 10, 2013