Blanche was such a memorable part of my upbringing, having had the privilege of growing up across the road to Blanche and their growing family. I greatly admired her spirit, resilience and zest for life, and I wanted to be " just like Blanche" when I grew up.( she also had an incredible sense of humour). I recall Blanche and my mother sharing a beer after likely experiencing a "challenging" day with 7 kids between them. Another memory was of Blanches' mother coming to stay with them for a length of time and Blanche remarking on her own mothers' strength, quoting her as saying " keeping going, keeping going" in her best Czechoslovakian accent.
There was nothing Blanche couldn't do, from art work, singing and playing ukelele and guitar, sewing, making " something from nothing", creating a beautiful rock garden in her back yard from scratch, on both Brier Cres., and Morrell St. Around age 10 or 11, my mother bought some material and patterns and Blanche sewed about 3 outfits for me. She also saw some pictures in a magazine and proceeded to oil paint these 2 brightly coloured abstracts all while tending to her 4 young children.( Tara had not yet been born)
Blanche was always up for a bit of fun and adventure, like the time Blanche and my mom threw on their skates after an ice storm and skated with us on top of the " ice" snow! One of my favourite pictures of mom and Blanche was when they dressed up for Halloween, mom in a square dancing dress and Blanche like a little " Poirot". Blanche was laughing so exuberantly, she exclaimed she would " pee my pants"!
She had a way with her public health clients of both encouraging, and gaining their trust. My dad was the recipient one time when he had run out of his blood pressure meds and Blanche sternly and effectively told him in no uncertain terms the risks and dire consequences of missing his doses. She fondly recalled another client from Newfoundland, who, after sharing his life story with her, told her that " I feels lighter", in her best Nfld accent! She did a great nasal impression of one of her favourite characters in Corner Gas, " Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs"
We love you and miss you, Blanche. May you rest in peace, thy good and faithful servant, and dear friend!
Blanche was a great listener and she only saw the good in people around her. Never judged anyone and was full of empathy. Her smile was catching and she often had a funny story to tell. I am grateful to have had our paths cross. Rest in peace lovely Lady.
Deepest sympathy to Blanche's family. She was a warm and insightful women, whose compassion and caring made a positive and beautiful impact on my life. I feel privileged to have crossed paths with dear Blanche.
To the family of Blanche Parkhill,
Our heartfelt condolences on the passing of your mom, mother-in-law and grandmother.
What a special lady and a wonderful tribute to her! Lovely to read about Blanche’s life achievements, her passion for music (140 songs…wow!), her love of gardening and the outdoors. Many memories of Blanche - at her Brantford house on Morrell during a kitchen renovation getting a full tour of her wintering “babies” and summers up north at Belfron cottage. I can picture so clearly during a visit to Belfron with Tara and Roger… walking down the path to the lake and there to the left is Blanche curled up on a lounge chair with a book, wearing a sun hat and long sleeve shirt to keep the mosquitoes away, her chair positioned just in the shade of the trees with a perfect view of the lake ahead, soaking in the beauty of time well spent at the cottage! Indeed, a great life well lived!
Wishing you peace and cottage comforts.
Monica, Dave & Jared Meserve
Oh Blanche, what a dear sweet soul you have been . A true insipiration to so many. I learned so much from you, you guided me in directions that I haven't even thought of. Your insight and calm reasuring way of looking at things was a true gift. I will always treasure the times Ken and I spend with you and Don at Balfron and our long walks in the woods while we gathered a bouquet of wildflowers for the Thanksgiving Table.. Special times with special people. You will be remembered, you will be missed and you will always be loved. Rest in peace my dear.
Blanche was the most kindest lady I ever meet, she was such a special soul and she brought laughter and so much wisdom to our book club for many years. I always listened to ever word she shared about the beautiful books we all enjoyed as Blanche always brought her own wonderful view on each novel we read. Blanche was a very special lady