Charles Joseph Blanchet, Sr.November 29, 1918 ~ April 18, 2015 (age 96)
Wynantskill -Charles Joseph (Charley) Blanchet Sr, 96, of Wynantskill, New York, died peacefully surrounded by his family on April 18, 2015. He was our Dad.
Charley is survived by his cherished wife of nearly 73 years Betty Blanchet, the former Bertheline Cecile Nadeau; children, Linda Palka, Felix Blanchet (Shirlene Lybarger), David Blanchet (Joy Petrie), Suzanne Euller (Kurt), Arthur Blanchet (Lottie Mae Krueger), Gregory Blanchet, Mary Lee Kopache (Mark), Daniel Blanchet (Ewa Zaniewska), Mark Blanchet (Valleen Richardson), Charles Blanchet Jr (Carron Session), and Lorrie Ann Bevevino (William); and brother, Ernest Blanchet. He is preceded in death by one daughter, Pamela Ramahlo; and ten siblings.
Charles Blanchet was born on November 29, 1918 in Watervliet, NY to Arthur Lusier Blanchet and Mary Gertrude McHugh. His early years alternated between the rough and tumble of Depression Era Troy and the rural farm life of Averill Park. After graduating valedictorian from Averill Park High School, he took a job at Watervliet Arsenal. Recognizing the growing crisis in a Europe, Charley volunteered for military service in January 1941, prior to the United States entering World War II that December. He served with distinction during that war with the U.S. Army's 157th Field Artillery Battallion of the 44th Infantry, rising to the rank of Captain. Men respected him. In addition to other citations, Captain Blanchet was awarded the Purple Heart and carried within him shrapnel from that war his entire life.
Despite the insecurities associated with wartime, an optimistic Captain Blanchet met his beloved Canadian Beauty Betty and the two later wed in Yakima, Washington in 1942, and soon began a family. After WWII, he left military service and settled with his growing family in Speigletown, New York. He also resumed his career at The Arsenal. In 1957 he moved his family to Wynantskill, NY, where he, Betty and their children resided for 58 years, until his passing.
Dad worked at the Watervliet Arsenal in the motor pool until his retirement in 1973, then ten more years as a school bus driver until he retired for good. Over 24 years, the couple proudly welcomed 12 children into their home and dedicated themselves to teaching their offspring values of respect for law and person, civil responsibility, virtues of work, patriotism, thrift, education, honesty, and character. Dad’s children remember him as a hard-working, patient, soft-spoken rugged father who instilled respect for women and elderly, and most especially his dear wife, their mother. He was a man who was kind to everyone, but feared no one. In relationships, he always looked to the inner man and, because so, was neither desirous of nor awed by affluence. Charley Blanchet was his own man. His essence is difficult to encapsulate in a few words; But simply put, he touched lives and generations and always led by example.
Our Dad enjoyed family, fishing, camping, and hunting – the latter so he could be in nature with his sons and grandsons. He was humble in his skills, yet could build or repair anything through ingenuity and skill. A passionate reader, he encouraged the habit in his children and would often recommend books during precious one-on-one discussions. He kept and read books on poetry and enjoyed works by regional artists Grandma Moses and Norman Rockwell, yet knew the European impressionists’ works as well. He reveled in his vegetable gardens and recognized God’s hand in his life through nature. He attended St. Jude’s Catholic Church for decades and served locally as a volunteer fireman in his younger years.
His warm love for his family, his 44 grandchildren, his 51 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild was unconditional and eternal. Betty described Dad, saying with a tender smile, “He was a good husband.” Their song was Irving Berlin's Always from 1925.
Visiting hours are scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at Bryce Funeral Home, Inc. 276 Pawling Avenue Troy from 5-8 pm. The Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Wynantskill on Thursday, April 23, at 9:30 am to be followed by interment at Evergreen Cemetery in Wynantskill.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Dad's favorite charities: The Salvation Army and The Little Sisters of the Poor. The family would like to thank the Veterans Administration home care team.
Little Sisters of the Poor, St. Joseph's Residence
1365 Enfield Street, Enfield CT 06082
Salvation Army Troy Corps
410 River Street, Troy NY 12180