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SOUTH PORTLAND — Claire Frances Blanchard, 89, of Jordan Avenue, South Portland, died Dec. 17 at a Portland hospital. She was born in East Boston on Aug. 22, 1923, a daughter of George and Margaret M. Kennedy Millington.
Blanchard graduated in 1940 from Winthrop High School in Winthrop, Mass. She then worked for an insurance company in Boston, and later accepted a position with New England Telephone Company. Her family moved from Massachusetts to Maine in 1944.
On May 16, 1953, she married John M. Blanchard Sr. at Holy Cross Church. Together, they raised a family, and Blanchard also worked as a school traffic crossing guide in South Portland for many years. She enjoyed knitting, and often made mittens for the children she met at her crossing area, near Red’s Tasty Freeze.
Blanchard was a longtime communicant of Holy Cross Church. She enjoyed playing golf, and was a member at Willowdale and Poland Springs golf courses. She also bowled in the leagues at the Big 20 in Scarborough.
The times spent with her dearest friends, “Philly,” Anita and the James family, were memories she cherished every day of her life. One of her favorite places to be was “at camp” in Bridgton with her family. She reminisced about these experiences often. Her sister, Peg, always held a special place in her heart, and the two enjoyed raising their families together.
She was predeceased by her husband, John, in 2006; Margaret, their infant daughter; and brothers “Sonny” and Dick Millington.
Blanchard is survived by four sons, John M. “Skip” Blanchard Jr. and his wife, Kathleen, of Harrison, George Blanchard and his wife, Linda, of Gray, James Blanchard and his wife, Jessica, of Gray, and Edward Blanchard and his wife, Susan, of Scarborough; seven grandchildren, Rebecca Blanchard, David Guignard, Troy Guignard, Nicole Blanchard, Erin Blanchard, Andrew Blanchard and Krista Blanchard; and four great-grandchildren, Karah, Isaiah, Micah and Gideon.
A brief prayer service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, at Conroy-Tully Crawford South Portland Chapel, 1024 Broadway, South Portland. Burial will follow in New Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be sent to: Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, 22 Bramhall St., Portland, ME 04101.