Mary J. Blanchard, 89

Published 10:48 am Monday, September 12, 2016

Mary J. Blanchard, 89, of Austin, Minnesota, died Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, at Our House Assisted Living.

The oldest of ten children, Mary was born Aug. 29, 1927, in rural Lansing, Minnesota, to Warner and Selma (Feldt) Hansen. She grew up in the country, attended country schools and graduated from Austin High School. Mary married Virgil Blanchard on May 29, 1948, at the First United Methodist Church in Austin. While she lived most of her life in Mower County, she and Virgil lived a short time in Chicago while Virgil attended drafting school. Virgil passed away in 1993. Later, Mary married Donald Zabel at the First United Methodist Church.

Mary was a homemaker but she also had worked at Kresge’s, J.C. Penney Co., Bud and Bob’s, and Verna’s Market. She was a member of First United Methodist Church where she enjoyed teaching Sunday school and loved working with the children.  She liked to garden and care for the flowers in her yard. Mary also volunteered at the Salvation Army.

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She was preceded in death by her parents, Warner and Selma Hansen, first husband Virgil Blanchard, second husband Donald Zabel, sisters, Virginia Miller, Alice Augustin, Hazel Schneider, and brother-in-law, Norbert Schneider.

Mary is survived by her sisters, Helen (Wallace) Malchow, Austin, Minnesota, Lorraine (Bob) Freitag, Austin, Fern (Marvin) Veitze, Albert Lea, Minnesota, LaVonne (Keith) Kasten, LeRoy, Minnesota, and Lucille (George) Teats, West St. Paul, Minnesota; brother, Richard Hansen, Waseca, MN; brother-in-law: Leland Miller, Phoenix; nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016, at First United Methodist Church with the Reverend Dennis Tamke officiating. Interment will be at Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be at the church for one hour before the service. Clasen-Jordan Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.