Blanche Louise Oujiri died Wednesday Aug 21, 2019 of congestive heart failure at West Ridge Care Center aged 92 years.
Born Blanche McPherson 2 May 1927 to Willard & Edna in Fairfield, Iowa. She first attended Tyler elementary school and later Wilson High School. After graduation Blanche went to work for Interocean Reinsurance Co. staying only about 1 year. Marriage to George J Oujiri on 22 June 1946 threatened her working career and the arrival of a honeymoon baby on 23 March 1947 closed it. Three more children over the next 10 years cemented the caregiver role in lieu of paid employment.
Blanche gave herself over tirelessly to wife, mother, and protector doing far more for her family than anyone could expect. When her sister Doris broke her back, weakened by bone cancer, she became head nurse and caregiver for her till the end more than 2 years hence. When her mother (Edna) developed Alzheimer’s she was moved into Blanche’s home, long vacant of children, for Edna’s final years.
Converting to Catholicism after marriage Blanche was active in church study groups, the Catholic Order of Foresters, and thoroughly enjoyed playing cards. Pinochle & 500 with family on Sunday afternoons and other gatherings were supplemented by Bridge games twice a week for many years. In the years of a house vacant of children, Blanche became an avid reader bringing home books by the boxful from the library every 2 weeks. As a young married, Blanche was only a passable cook, but over time became an excellent one. While of German decent herself, she learned many traditional Czech favorites like potato dumplings from her husband’s relatives. In addition to the Czech specialties kolaches & hoska, she excelled at pastries of all sorts.
Declining gradually after her 70’s, Blanche was increasingly unable to host large family events then relegated to the younger generation. She was thrilled to have about 80 people attend her 90th birthday party, replete with all 4 children, 3 of the 4 grandchildren, and 5 of the 7 great grandchildren, neighbors, friends, and bridge club members.
Preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, both parents and 3 siblings, as well as most of her contemporary friends, she is survived by her 4 children Michael, James, Janet Hanover, and Steven; her 4 grandchildren Jeffrey, Janessa Hada, Jason, and Christina Armstrong; and the 9 great grandchildren Katie, Lindy, Matthew, Bethany, Nora, Megan, Brittnay, Kiarra and Mariah.
Services will begin with visitation at Cedar Memorial Westside Chapel on Friday August 23, 2019, at 1221 1st Avenue NW. A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 A.M. at St Jude Catholic Church on Saturday August 24, 2019, 50 Edgewood Road NW. Inurnment will take place at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.
In Lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mercy Hospice and Palliative Care memory of Blanche.