John Blanch
John Blanch

Obituary of John "Jack" Edward Blanch

John "Jack" Edward Blanch passed into glory in Colorado Springs, Colorado on November 18, 2022 at age 90. Born March 28, 1932 in Sacramento, California to Walter W. Blanch and M. Lovilla Hoyt Blanch, he grew up in California, and was the great-grandson of pioneers Charles Blanch and Maria Watkins, who came across the plains in a covered wagon to San Jose. As a child, he nearly drowned in a California lake, which deeply affected his lungs. He spent his summers on the Blanch Ranch with his Great Aunt Lottie and her brothers to help his lungs recover, and as he got older, worked in the apricot orchards around San Jose, California. Jack�s mother taught him how to hunt, and he enjoyed bird hunting throughout his life. Jack was an avid outdoorsman who loved to camp, flyfish the streams, and spend time in the woods. He shared his love of the outdoors with many friends and family. Jack spent some intense time searching for TRUTH in his teens. At age 16, his brother Walt (Eldon) introduced him to The Navigators, and he was deeply impacted by the founder, Dawson Trotman. In his late teens, Jack became a follower of Jesus Christ and this decision deeply transformed him and his life path. Jack was a veteran who served in the United States Navy from 1953-1955. He had many entertaining stories of his time aboard the USS Raton submarine, based out of San Diego, California. Jack was deeply involved with The Navigators throughout his military and college years. He went on staff with the Navigators in March 1962, and married Joann Blanche Nelson on September 22, 1962 in Pasadena, California. They ran a Navigators servicemen's center in Bitburg, Germany from 1962 to 1966, followed by two years in Seattle, Washington, and two in England. In 1970, the family moved to Spain and began a fruitful ministry to college students. Pete Gerhard, a long-time friend, explains "He helped them investigate and determine for themselves if Jesus was real. He knew men and women could be transformed as they embraced Jesus, and become powerful agents for good in the world." They returned to California in 1987, and continued in many areas of ministry with The Navigators. Jack had a passion for mentoring people, and wrote several books that were published in English and Spanish. Joann passed away on December 16, 2017. In his final years, he moved to a vibrant senior community in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and continued his lifelong work of helping people meet God. There he met Bernice Traynor, who helped edit the book he was writing. They were married on April 23, 2022, shortly after Jack's 90th birthday, even as his body was succumbing to ALS. Jack continued working part time for The Navigators until the time of his death. In the words of Pete Gerhard, "He became an example to, and mentored, many around the world, even in his last days. There are thousands around the world who love him and will miss him." Another long-time friend, Don Muse, remembers him as "a humble, grace-filled man of God, daily living on mission as a "disciplemaking evangelist" who believed God's word, trusted God's character, and loved everyone he knew with the power of Christ, which abided faithfully in Jack." He is survived by his wife of seven months, Bernice Traynor; a son, Daniel W. (Andrea) Blanch; two daughters, Linda Carol Blanch and Sharon June (Torry) Ebell; a sister, Carol Owens; and five grandchildren, Karen S. Blanch, Katrina M. Blanch, Lara C. Ebell, Ivan D. Ebell and Alan M. Blanch. He was preceded in death by his brother, Walter (Eldon) Blanch; his first wife, Joann Blanche Nelson; and his parents, Walter and Lovilla Blanch. Memorial Service, 2:00PM, Wednesday, December 28, 2022, Glen Eyrie Castle - Great Hall, 3820 North 30th Stree, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904. Another service is planned for his burial in California in the summer. An intimate Memorial Service will be held for the residents of Aspen Trail Retirement Resort in early December. In lieu of flowers, Memorial Contributions in Jack's name may be sent to Friends of the Glen at , or Navigators World Missions at ; or at P.O. Box 6819, Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007. Events Memorial Service Wednesday, December 28, 2022 2:00PM Glen Eyrie 3820 North 30th Street Colorado Springs, CO 80904 Phone: 719-634-0808
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