SOUTH PORTLAND — Russell E. Blanchard, 96, died peacefully Aug. 25 surrounded by his loving family.

Born July 13, 1914, he was a son of Ethel Libby Blanchard and Harry F. Blanchard.

He worked as a master plasterer and foreman for Blanchard Plastering Company until he retired at age 72.

In 1939 he met his lifelong sweetheart and wife of 69 years, Ruth Barnes.

After they married in 1941 they moved into the house he built on Dawson Street in South Portland, where they raised four children and remained for 68 years.

He also built a camp on Little Sebago, where the family enjoyed many summers swimming, boating, and hosting family gatherings.

A talented builder and carpenter, he built a house with his son in Windham, completed numerous additions and remodels for family and friends, and built furniture and toys for his grandchildren.

After he retired, he and his wife enjoyed traveling to national parks around the country.

A quiet and reserved man, he loved his family above all else.

The family would like to thank the staff at South Portland Nursing Home for their kindness and wonderful care he received during the past year.

He was predeceased by two brothers, Frederick and Harry (Ally) Blanchard, and three sisters, Betty Skillins, Mae Staples, and Hazel Kinney.

He is survived by his wife Ruth of Scarborough; four children, David Blanchard and his wife Trisha of Windham, James Blanchard and his wife Denise of Old Orchard Beach, Judy O’Brien of Old Orchard Beach, and Jean Fox and her husband Francis of South Portland; 10 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 2 at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, Sept. 3 at 11 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Church, 611 Main St., South Portland.

Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.

Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association National Office, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601.

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