George Ralph Blanchard III
On July 18, 2022 George Ralph Blanchard III, totally at peace with his God and man “slipped the surly bonds of earth and put out his hand and touched the face of God.” The latter borrowed from John Magee and paraphrased, for he too was a pilot and had soared alone “into the sunlit silence.”
George built his own airplane and tested it only when he had full trust in himself and that God had indeed wanted him to fly solo in his universe. George enjoyed all things “aviation” and was a member of the U.S. Air Force. He was a staunch member of the EAA since 1990 and hardly missed a year of the Oshkosh WI annual EAA AirVenture show and gathering.
Earlier George was avidly involved with HAM Radio and clock repair. He built his own grandfather clock which is still chiming in his memory. He owned several antique cars sporting “I owned a 1938 Buick, 1914 Ford, 1918 Ford and 1936 Ford” on a T-Shirt. A 1918 Ford Truck did not fit in his garage so he made the top into a convertible. The 1914 Model T is happy in Australia. George was a member of the Model T club in New York and the Tin Lizzy Club locally.
George was born July 29, 1931 in Middleton New York and passed away on July 18, 2022 in The Villages Florida. He was preceded in death by his son Mark and leaves to mourn his wife Flo Blanchard and three daughters: Rebecca of Texas, Mary Joy Cohen of New York and Carrie Blanchard of Oregon as well as eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren. In addition, he is survived by his brother Roger Blanchard of New York and sister Joy Parker of North Carolina along with numerous nieces and nephews; as well as a lifelong friend Ed Jones of New York.
George bought a home in The Villages in 2009 following the death of his wife Helen and began a search to find a companion and believer in God. He found Florence Rogers at Community Methodist Church and they were married in an unusual “retro” wedding at Deaton Methodist Church on November 9, 2019. When the COVID-19 Pandemic ramped up they joined Fairway Christian Church and been attending happily ever since.
George and Flo had two blissfully happy 90th Birthday Parties in 2021 and both vowed that would be our “Celebration of Life.”
It is with great comfort and solace that I have George’s ashes at home with me. His soul and spirit are with God but I have the rest of him until such time when my ashes will join his in a beautiful cemetery memorial.
I want to Thank all who have contributed in so many ways. Especially Mary Joy Cohen and Mary Lou Pickles who have been with me when George had surgery years ago and again in July following his death. In addition, my friends, neighbors and relatives who have been like brothers and sisters you have been so gracious to George’s memory and to myself. Any memorial gifts should be given to Fairway Christian Church or to George’s favorite charity Hillsdale College.
George is holding my left arm, God is holding tight on the right…. I can’t ask for anything more.
Written by His Beloved Wife – Florence “Flo” Blanchard