WINTHROP - Richard William Blanchard Sr., 87, passed away peacefully at his home with loved ones by his side on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.
He was born on Oct. 1, 1926, in Wollaston, Mass., the youngest of nine children of the late Arthur H. Blanchard and Eglantine (Desrosiers) Blanchard. The last survivor of his family, his siblings included Arthur Blanchard Jr., Edwin Blanchard, Doris Limerick, Norma MacDonald, Donald Blanchard, Janet Preston, Yvonne Schultes and Linden Blanchard.
He graduated from Arlington High School in Arlington, Mass., in 1944 where he played football, hockey and was captain of the baseball team. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces and after an honorable discharge he graduated Bowdoin College with an AB degree in mathematics and education and played on the varsity hockey and baseball teams. He married Gladys Hyatt, of Winthrop, on Dec. 27, 1949.
He spent six years at college preparatory schools in Maine and Connecticut as a mathematics teacher, hockey and baseball coach and student advisor. For 14 years he worked for RCA in Burlington, Mass., participating in the NASA Apollo moon landing program. He moved the family to Winthrop in 1972 and worked as a statistician for the state of Maine Department of Transportation for the next 18 years retiring Dec. 27, 1991.
Richard is survived by his beloved wife, Gladys, with whom he shared 64 years of marriage; and 13 children: Joseph Blanchard, wife Maureen, and children Joseph Jr. (his wife Megan and children Jason and Allison), Carol and Michael; Paul Blanchard and children Jessica, Jefferson and Jamieson; Thomas Blanchard and children Melody, Ian, Caitlin, Christopher and Nathan; Mary Sampson, husband Roger, and children Leah (her partner Dan Marcoux and daughter Piper), and Eric; Katherine Hamilton, husband Ken, and children Rachel and Isaac; John Blanchard, wife Sorna, and daughter Jaya; Janet Blanchard; Richard Blanchard Jr.; Robert Blanchard, wife Jean, and children Mary Claire, Caroline and Jane; Michael Blanchard, wife Kim, and children Hannah and Elle; Andrew Blanchard; Daniel Blanchard and daughter Victoria; and Diane Anglin, husband Kirk and children Ryan, Evan and Miles. All of Richard's children were baptized in the Catholic church.
A devout Catholic, Richard was a great teacher and spiritual advisor of the faith to his family, friends and everyone he met. He had many talents and interests, including music, science, mountain climbing, history and especially enjoyed playing the piano everyday. Committed to serving others, he gave countless hours playing piano for the elderly, among other charitable contributions.
He would like to sum up his life as: "He tried to live obeying the teachings of the Catholic Church, remaining each day close to his beloved wife Gladys and family."
Relatives and friends will honor and remember Richard's life by gathering for visiting hours at the Roberts Funeral Home, 62 Bowdoin St., Winthrop, ME from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, 2014.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 20 Lake St., Winthrop. A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony at the parish hall.
Final resting place will be Glenside Cemetery in the spring.
Memorial donations in his memory may be made to the Winthrop Food Pantry, P.O. Box 82, Winthrop, Maine 04364.
Condolences, memories and photos may be viewed and shared with the family on the obituary page on the website at www.khrfuneralhomes.com.