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Dorothy's Story

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Dorothy Blanchard, age 95, died on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, in Snohomish, WA where she lived with her daughter. She was born on March 11, 1921 to August and Alvena Larsen. In high school, she was not only an outstanding student, but also took the lead role in high school plays and performed comic monologues to entertain the community. Even though she was offered a scholarship to the University of Chicago in acting, she chose to pursue a career in education. She began teaching at age 18 in a one room school house in Elvira, Iowa teaching grades kindergarten through eighth grade. She married John Martensen on June 9, 1946. They had twin daughters, Karla and Marcia on April 15, 1949. John passed away in 1950. Being both mother and father for her two daughters, she earned two Masters Degrees, one in Reading from the University of Iowa and the other in Learning Disabilities from Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa. She taught second grade for twenty years in the Clinton, Iowa schools and then was head of the Supportive Reading Program in Clinton for the next twenty years. Even when she retired from teaching at age 65, she continued to tutor students and helped them learn to read. She authored the book Breaking the Code and taught as a professor at both the University of Iowa and Wisconsin State University. She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Mr. St. Clare College and Marycrest College. Her biographical sketch is listed in Whos Who in American Education and Whos Who in the Midwest. A highlight of her life was her many friends who she golfed with, played bridge with, and traveled with to many elder hostels. She also fellow-shipped with them as a member of the Clinton Country Club. She was a faithful member of Zion Lutheran Church her entire adult life. She was also a member of PEO Chapter JW and Alpha Delphian Literary Society. She married Harold Blanchard in 1968; he died in 1983. Survivors include daughter Marcia Martensen Strickland and son-in-law Steve Strickland, grandsons Ben and Philip Strickland, daughter Karla Martensen Born and son-in-law Steve Born, and granddaughter Juliana Born Templin and husband Randall Templin and great grandson Miles Henry Templin. She was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, and two husbands. Her faithful dedication to the Lord Jesus Christ, her daughters, and the children she taught remains an enduring legacy.
Published on January 30, 2017
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