Marilyn Blanchette

November 19, 2018

Rumor has it that Marilyn already has begun organizing things in Heaven.

Marilyn J. Blanchette, 89, died Thursday (Nov. 15, 2018) at Heritage Health, Jacksonville, following a series of debilitating strokes over several years.

She lost her husband of 60 years, Paul, on Aug. 1, 2018. Surviving are a son, David (wife, Kathy), of Jacksonville; daughter, Paula Buckley, of Glen Ellyn; son, Daniel (wife, Rubelyne), of Jacksonville; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Marilyn grew up in Kankakee with her parents, Herbert and Bertha Grulich Potts; and sister, Carol Zeedyk, who survives with her husband, Miles, in Naples, Fla. She graduated from Kankakee High School and attended Purdue University.

She met the love of her life, Paul Blanchette, on a blind date set up by a mutual friend, who then served as best man at their Feb. 16, 1958, wedding. They raised three children and remained close to them their entire lives. For Mother’s Day one year, Marilyn received a “World’s Greatest Mother” statuette from her children, who can to this day convincingly argue that, unlike others who may have received a similar plastic sculpture, Marilyn truly earned the title.

Marilyn was a tireless worker on the job and equally busy at home, and woe to the unfortunate soul who got in her way when her mind was set on a task. She worked at Amberg File & Index Co., of Kankakee, and relocated with her husband and family in 1972 to Jacksonville, where, in 1975, Marilyn began a 32-year career with the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce. Her hard work and dedication touched nearly every area of the community during those decades with the chamber, and that is how most people in Jacksonville came to know and love her. Marilyn also was very active in Pilot Club and at Salem Lutheran Church, where she was a longtime member and Sunday school teacher.

Sunbathing was Marilyn’s escape from the daily chaos of work, family and commitments, and her spouse and children always were under strict orders not to interrupt these brief bits of bliss.

For many years, Marilyn and Paul enjoyed winter vacations at their condo in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and made many close friends there.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, until the 6 p.m. memorial service at Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home, Jacksonville. Interment for both Marilyn and Paul will be in Camp Butler National Cemetery, Springfield, at a later date.

Memorials may be made to Salem Lutheran Church and School or The Lutheran Hour.

Please sign her guestbook at buchanancody.com.


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