March 19, 1942 - May 12, 2021
Sandra May Blanchard, 79, of Zeeland, MI, passed away on May 12, 2021 following a sudden stroke. Sandy was born on March 19, 1942 to Paul and Margaret DeCenzo in Detroit. As a child she had a zest for life and a joy of discovery that she encouraged in others throughout her life In 1958, she met Russell through the church youth group they both attended. They wed in September 1964, going on to have 2 daughters, Holly and Keely. The Blanchards first lived in Ferndale, MI, then moved to Marshall in 1970 and Zeeland in 1982. Sandy's passion for words and service led her to major in journalism at Wayne State University starting her career at the Royal Oak Daily Tribune. She worked for the Marshall Advisor, Holland Sentinel, Birder's World Magazine, Ebenezer Reformed Church in Holland and finally for the RCA Zeeland Classis. She continued to write articles by request for Ottawa County Parks. Countless people far and near have been blessed by Sandy's prolific, thoughtful correspondence. Sandy had many loves in her life, chief among them was Jesus Christ. Sandy knew Christ as her savior and was certain of her hope for life eternal with him. Her life was marked by loving and caring for others, often those who might feel marginalized, trying to be the hands and feet of Jesus to all she knew. This was reflected in her numerous lifelong volunteer activities such as the Friends of the Library and Girl Scouts in Marshall, and Special Ed Ministry in Zeeland. Her positive enthusiasm for Jesus made her certain of his plan for others' lives. Sandy promoted the best in everyone she met, always affirming them and communicating unconditional love. Sandy loved to ride her bike, stopping to visit friends she met along the way. Her interests and passions follow her most in the lives of her children and grandchildren. She flew to spend time with them several times a year and travelled cross country with Russ in their outfitted Sprinter van, going all the way to Alaska and back in 2008. She loved swimming, visiting national, state and county parks, sharing books, playing games and giving. She is survived by her husband Russ Blanchard of Zeeland; her daughters, Holly (John) Willsea of Portland, OR, and Keely (Anthony) Dien of Fountain Valley, CA; her beloved pride and joy: grandchildren, Wesley, Eli, Celeste, Garrett, Annika, and Isaac Willsea, Valerie, Emily, Stephanie, Natalie, Ian, and Elliot Dien; her brother Don DeCenzo. She left the land of the dying for the land of the living. 2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal dwelling in the heavens, not made with hands." Visitation will be 6-8 pm Friday, June 11, 2021 at Yntema Funeral Home, 251 South State Street, Zeeland. A memorial service is planned for 2 pm Saturday, June 12th at Zeeland First Baptist Church, 246 West Main Avenue, Zeeland, MI 49464. The service will be livestreamed at https://www.fbczeeland.org/memorial. Interment will be in Zeeland Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be given to Parkview Adult Foster Care Home in Zeeland, or Cranhill Ministries in Rodney, MI.
Sandra May Blanchard, 79, of Zeeland, MI, passed away on May 12, 2021 following a sudden stroke. Sandy was born on March 19, 1942 to Paul and Margaret DeCenzo in Detroit. As a child she had a zest for life and a joy of discovery that she encouraged... View Obituary & Service Information
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Sandra May Blanchard, 79, of Zeeland, MI, passed away on May...View More
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