Christine Blanchard

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Christine H. Blanchard (1907-2005) was a longtime Davis resident, community volunteer, and Board of Education trustee.

She was born in New York City in 1907, and was educated in private schools in New York. She graduated from Smith College as a history major. She also attended Simmons College, where she earned her master's degree in medical social work.

Christine worked as a social worker in Washington, D.C., where she met her future husband, J. Richard Blanchard, who was working in the Library of Congress. The couple married in 1939 and continued to live in Arlington, Virginia, where their three children were born.

Her husband served in Europe as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Shortly after his return they moved to Lincoln, Nebebraska, where he was the university librarian. The family moved to Davis in 1951, and her husband served as head librarian at UC Davis from 1951 until his retirement in 1974.

Almost immediately upon her arrival, Christine began volunteering in Davis. She was active in the Davis Parent Nursery School, and ran successfully for the Davis Board of Education. She served on the board from 1962 to 1974.

She was always a strong advocate for universal education for every child regardless of background or special abilities. One of her favorite achievements was starting the day care center for the children of migrant farm workers at Ciudad del Sol, just outside Davis.

Her involvement in community activities was wide-ranging. She was among the founders of The Episcopal Church of St. Martin, was a charter member and first president of the Yolo Family Service Agency, served on the Davis Human Relations Council, was chairwoman of the Yolo County Grand Jury, was instrumental in founding the Yolo County chapter of Planned Parenthood, helped to found the free clinics in Yolo County, helped create the Economic Opportunity Commission of Davis, and was active in STEAC.

Christine received the Yolo County Bar Association's Liberty Bell award for community service, and was named Davis Citizen of the Year in 1970. She was also given a lifetime membership in the PTA.

Christine died Oct. 1, 2005, at the age of 97.

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