Friday, Aug. 21
Lee was born on Aug. 30, 1943, in Sioux City, Iowa, the second child of Clifford and Betty (Betzer) Blanchard. During most of his childhood and teen years, Lee lived in eastern South Dakota, first on a farm where he helped his father care for dairy cows and then in Parker’s community, where Lee played high school sports. He always had an after-school job and continued all of his life to be a dedicated and hard worker. In high school, he started training as an electrician and continued this career until his retirement. Lee lived and worked in Vermillion for 16 years, then moved to Rapid City, where for 23 years he was a head electrician for all Rapid City Area Schools.
In 1963 Lee married Karen Johnson. During their 27 year marriage, they had a son, Scott and a daughter, Linda. In 1995, Lee married Mary Ann Goode Rochester, who already had three children: Gabrielle, Luther and Adrienne Rochester.
When anyone met Lee for the first time, he would proudly announce that he had 11 brothers and sisters. They have remained a close and loving family to this day, and now with marriages and new generations, there are 111 in the Blanchard family. Lee loved their frequent reunions. Always fun-loving, Lee was eager to tell folks a joke or riddle and was often found entertaining his grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He enjoyed spectator sports, golf, hunting, fishing, skiing and nights out dancing with Mary Ann. In recent years Lee was happiest when taking long drives in the rural countryside, often without a roadmap, to see what was there.
Lee was a member of the First Baptist Church in Rapid City and attended Grace Baptist Church when he and Mary Ann moved to Madison, Wis. in 2017.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; son, Scott (Griselda) Blanchard and children Gabriela and Isabella; daughter, Linda (Tim) Szymczak and children Taylor and Mitchell; stepson, Luther Rochester; stepdaughter, Adrienne Rochester; son-in-law, Timothy Philipps and children Milo and Ava. Also surviving Lee are his 10 siblings: Marcia (Jerry) McGill, Rod (Linda) Blanchard, Cherie (Les) Lunden, Ginny (Pat) Connors, Julie (Lee) Pascoe, Roche (Ilene) Blanchard, Barb (Dwayne) Ice, Joel (Dar) Blanchard, Greg (Diane) Blanchard and Tracy (Steve) Lardinois. Lee was preceded in death by his parents, sister Lisa Blanchard and stepdaughter Gabrielle Rochester.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Sept. 26, in Wisconsin. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be gifted in Lee’s name to Camp Judson, 12965 Old Hill City Road, Keystone, SD 57751.
Arrangements provided by Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care, Madison, Wis.