Cleo was born Jan. 15, 1932 to Earl and Helen Cole in Libby, Mont. One of five children, she grew up in the Thompson Falls and Plains area. After graduating from Plains High School, she met and married the love of her life Max “Mick” Blanchard Nov. 5, 1950. Both were very involved in the Church of God in Crow Agency and Plains, Mont.
Cleo enjoyed the outdoors in her younger years. She was an avid hunter and had a talent for tying fishing flies. She loved reading and was a master of jigsaw puzzles. Her story telling abilities will be greatly missed. Her sense of humor was appreciated by all who met her.
Like her mother Helen, she was employed by McGowan’s Grocery Store. It was there she sold her future husband clothing for his first logging job. Later, after raising her family, she worked for Clark Fork Valley Hospital in the kitchen department. Some of her best qualities were her determination and fierce work ethic. She retired from the hospital and is still remembered as an expert cookie baker.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Helen Cole; sisters, Carmen Cole Johnson and Candice Cole Burnhams; brother, Don Cole; husband, Mick Blanchard; twin sons, Michael and Lynn; son-in-law, Skip Lewis (Elaine) and son-in-law, Don Rieker (Erin).
Those left to miss Cleo include her brother, Merle Cole; sister-in-law Vera Cole; brother-in-law, Ed Burnham; daughters, Elaine Lewis and Erin Cornell; and son-in-law, Dave Cornell.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, September, 19 at 1 p.m. at Harvest Community Church of God in Plains.