Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Elsie Marie Blanchard, 99, of Portland, Ore. died on April 7, 2010.
She was born on July 15, 1910, in rural Ellendale, Minn., to Danish immigrants, Peter (P.C.) and Christine Lassen Nelson. Her family moved in 1918 to Hayward, Minn., where she grew up attending school and the Hayward Lutheran Church. She was the third child in a family of 10 children that lived in a large, two-story home on West Front Street. Her father, who was a well-known carpenter, built the home which still stands today as a part of Hayward’s history. Like her mother, she was a very talented homemaker. Remarkably, Elsie was still crocheting at age 99 with heirloom quality in her creations.
In 1929, Elsie married Burton Blanchard. They had four children, all of whom survive her: Betty Johnson of Hampton, Iowa; John Blanchard of Vernonia, Ore.; Karen Blanchard of Albany, Ore. and Krista Blanchard of Portland, Ore.
Although Elsie lived most of her life in Oregon, she loved traveling to Hayward, Austin, and Albert Lea, Minnesota, and to Coulter, Iowa to visit her family. A Nelson family reunion was always held to celebrate when she returned to visit. Throughout her life, she graciously gave the special warmth of her unique kindness and caring to her family and others. She will be greatly missed in the many lives that she touched over her lifespan of nearly 100 years.
Elsie is also survived by her sister, Agnes K. Anderson, formerly of Austin, currently residing in Renville, Minn; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, as well as nieces and nephews.
Her husband preceded her in death as did eight of her siblings: Swend, Joseph, Nellie (Margaret) Larson, Lauritz, Nels, Jens, Norman, and Olga Heard.
A memorial service will be held for her at 10 a.m. on April 19 in Portland at Cascade Terrace Nursing Center where she resided in her latter years.