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Floyd Martin Blanchard
Funeral services for Floyd Martin Blanchard will be held at 11 a.m. today, Saturday, Nov. 27 at the Mt. Whitney Baptist Church in Lone Pine, with burial to follow at the Independence Cemetery in Independence.
Floyd, or “Marty” as he preferred to be called, was born in Los Angeles in 1918 to Elena and Jack Blanchard and was the younger of two children. Marty died peacefully of natural causes on Nov. 12, 2010 at 12:15 a.m.
Marty lived his life in Los Angeles, and at a very early age became so familiar with the Owens Valley that he decided he wanted to retire here someday.
Marty graduated from Glendale College with honors and was an exceptional track and field athlete, receiving trophies, ribbons and certificates. Marty’s older brother, Clyde Blanchard, was quite the track and field athlete as well, and went on to win an Olympic medal.
Marty went to UCLA after Glendale JC and then was drafted into the military one year later. Marty was a supply sergeant and spent the majority of his military time on the island of Guam. After Guam, Marty was on the U.S. Army Search and Rescue and his team worked the Yosemite mountains area. His team would pack mules into the wilderness and locate “downed military planes,” rescuing the survivors.
After his military service, Marty returned to Los Angeles where he married and had a daughter, Sherril Bobb. His marriage ended in divorce and he then married Virginia Hancock Blanchard in 1964. Marty and his bride moved to Big Pine in 1977, and have been residents ever since. Marty lost his beloved Virginia in October of 2009.
One of his finest and proudest accomplishments was the building of the Big Pine Baptist Church. In 1978, Marty and Virginia Blanchard, along with Pat and Neil Olds, became the founding members of the Big Pine Baptist Church. The four put their hearts and souls into building the Big Pine Baptist Church. They did a remarkable job and are recognized through their pictures at the entrance to the church to this day.
Marty and Virginia did a lot of traveling upon his retiring from 35 years of employment at the Western Electric Company in the City of Commerce and Los Angeles. They traveled through the United States, Mexico, Canada and Alaska. Marty loved to fish and hunt, and took advantage of being able to fish and hunt every chance he got. Marty was a good fisherman and good hunter.
Marty spent the last eight years of his life in the care of his daughter, Carolyn “CJ” Joncas, and her husband, Denis. In 2008, Marty went into the Southern Inyo Hospital Care Center. Marty then lost his ability to walk, which was a great loss to his independence and his overall spirit.
Marty is survived by his daughter, Sherill Bobb of Long Beach; niece, Julie Traughber of Pasadena; nephew, John Blanchard of Pasadena; stepdaughters, Carolyn “CJ” Joncas of Independence and Deborah Freeman of Rancho Cucamonga; stepson, Kenneth Ramsey of Simi Valley; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.