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Rita Claire Blanchard


1937 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Rita Claire Blanchard Obituary
Rita Claire Blanchard June 27, 1937 - March 19, 2018 Southlake, TX Rita C. Blanchard, age 80, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 19th at the home of her daughter, Karen Hames, in Southlake, Texas following a short illness with cancer. She was born on June 27th, 1937 to Joseph and Helen (ne Rodak) Korgie in Columbus, Nebraska. She graduated high school at the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration motherhouse in Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado. In 1958 she graduated from St. Catherine School of Nursing in affiliation with Creighton University in Omaha. She joined the Navy Nurse Corps and spent a tour of duty as LTJG at US Navy Hospital, San Diego. She was always very proud to be a veteran. Rita then made San Diego her home and worked steadily as a Registered Nurse for the next 48 years in many specialties including inpatient medical-surgical units, locked psychiatric wards, family practice clinics, and busy emergency departments. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from San Diego State University in 1974 and a Master's degree in Nursing from University of San Diego in 1982. Rita also obtained several teaching credentials and taught in private LVN programs as well as the San Diego City College R.N. nursing program. Rita was Occupational Nurse for Pacific Bell Telephone for ten years and subsequently spent long relief intervals as company industrial nurse for PSA Airlines and two tuna canneries, Sun Harbor and Van Camp Tuna. In 1984 she was hired by the Veterans Administration Medical Center, San Diego, as a psychiatric nurse. She spent the rest of her career working at the VA Medical Center as Clinical Services Director in the surgical service and Clinical Nurse Specialist in orthopedics. Rita enjoyed the challenge of change and learning something new and believed this kept her deep interest in nursing fresh and current through the years. Always deeply interested in world events, art, music and singing, she sang in the Masterwork Chorale for 25 years and played piano and organ. Of special note was her deep involvement in the sport of ballroom dancing and she was involved in many hours of dancing every week for a number of years. She liked to remember that she won first place in a nightclub Hustle dance contest at age 56! She loved birds, animals, plants, trees and all of nature. Travel and exploring with her husband Randall were big interests over many years and they traveled widely through the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, Kenya and Egypt, studying the history, culture, and architecture of 29 countries. Rita and Randy enjoyed many mutual interests and cherished their trips long after they returned. After retirement she enjoyed being an OASIS reading tutor in the San Diego Unified School District, working with second grade students for over 10 years. Rita was predeceased by her parents, four siblings, and her husband Randall Blanchard. She is survived by her daughters, Claire Stender of Grand Junction, Colorado, and Karen (Robert) Hames and granddaughter Isabella of Southlake TX, and many nieces and nephews throughout the country. A memorial service will be held in Nebraska at a later date. The family would like to thank the staff of Encompass Hospice for their kindness and devotion.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Apr. 8, 2018
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