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James Michael "Jigg's" Blanchard

February 28, 1939 ~ May 13, 2020 (age 81)


James Michael “Jigg’s” Blanchard passed away peacefully at his home in Rockport, Texas with his loving wife, Kathy at his side. He fought a long courageous battle with cancer the past 8 years.

Jim, Jigg’s to his family and “old” friends was born Feb. 28th, 1939 in Mason City, Iowa to parents Clovis and Delvina (Sauve) Blanchard. Jim attended St. Joseph Catholic School through the 10th grade. In the summer of 1955, he took a job on a farm in Ventura, Iowa. Because of his strong work ethic, the couple asked him to stay and for the next two years he worked and went to school in Ventura. He was proud to be a VHS graduate of the class of 1957, where many lifelong friendships were made.

In June 1957 Jim enlisted in the USMC. He spent most of the next 3 years as a radio operator in the Philippines. He was honorably discharged on June 19, 1960. Upon discharge he returned home to Mason City. He worked at Weaver/Whitwere Grocery Warehouse and Holiday Erickson Gas Station until 1961 when he went to work for State Brand Creamery. He was proud to be a 2-time Blue Ribbon Butter Maker while there.

In October 1962 he married Jerriann Johnson of Rockwell, Iowa. Two children were born to this union, Brent and Blake. Their marriage ended after 10 years. In 1966 Jim went to work for Industrial Services Company as their first millwright.

On March 22,1975 he married Kathy Henriksen at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Winnebago, MN. They honeymooned in Rockport, TX. And Hawaii.

The next seven years Jim & Kathy traveled in their fifth wheel from job site to job site. In the winters they would head back to Rockport, Tx. fishing.

Jim continued to work for Industrial Services until 1976. It was then he went to work solely for The Ken Bratney Company in Des Moines, Ia. for the next 30 years. Having a total of 40 years with “the greatest boss” Ken Bratney. He traveled the U.S. and the world supervising the construction of seed processing plants and making many more lifelong friends along the way.

Jim retired in 2010 and he and Kathy moved to their home in Rockport.

Jim’s greatest love was his family. There was nothing he would not do for them. He treasured the times spent hunting and fishing with his sons. Family reunions, cooking ribs or shrimp, baking cookies to share, golf & cribbage all brought him joy. His greatest joy though were his grandchildren, Chadd & Nickolle, he was so proud of each of them and loved them with all his heart.

Jim is survived by his wife of 45 years, Kathy; son, Brent and daughter in law Theresa of Rockwell, Ia. Grandson, Chadd & Granddaughter, Nickolle, both of Rockwell, Ia., Sister’s, Jeri Kolwinska of Rockwall, Tx. and June Blanchard of Mason City, Ia., Brother, Bill Blanchard of Manly, Ia. Sisters in law Carole Blanchard of Montrose, Co., Dee Henriksen of Sioux Falls, SD., Brothers in law, Dennis and Jo Henriksen of Wayzata, MN., Stephen and Renate Henriksen of Longville, MN.

28 nephews & nieces, 54 great nephews & nieces and 27 great great nephews & nieces. Along with many friends.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents Clovis & Delvina; son, Blake in 2002, his younger brothers Chuck & Paul; Mother and father’s in law, Vivian Henriksen Paulson; Eldor Henriksen & Clifford Paulson;  brother’s in law Ernie Kolwinska and Gary Henriksen; sister’s in law Janette and Arlene Blanchard.

Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, a Celebrations of Jim’s life will be held in Rockport and Clear Lake, Ia. at a later date.


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