Sept. 16, 1925 - July 5, 2011
Blanche H. Palmer of Milton-Freewater passed away July 5, 2011, at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla at the age of 85 years. Memorial services will be Saturday, July 23, 2011, at 4 p.m. at the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home in Milton-Freewater with Pastor Roland Shanks of the First Baptist Church officiating. There will be a gathering for family and friends at Kelly's Restaurant and Lounge immediately following the memorial service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Providence St. Mary Regional Cancer Center/Special Needs or the Ray Lane Memorial Baseball Fund c/o DeSales High School or through the funeral home.
Blanche was born Sept. 16, 1925, in Wheatland, Wyo., the daughter of James and Emma E. Jensen Palmer. When she was about 6 years old, her parents divorced. Her mother later married Carl Meek and he became her father. Blanche came to Oregon with her parents and five siblings in 1937. They settled briefly in Hubbard, Ore., but soon moved to Wallowa, Ore. She graduated from high school in Wallowa in 1943. She moved to Milton-Freewater that summer. Blanche worked for Bick's Caf for a time before going to business college in Portland. After completing her education, she went to work at Hanford for the U.S. government. She worked there until the mid-1950s. She then moved back to Portland, where she worked for Armour Meat Company. Blanche later went to work as an executive secretary to Dr. Woods.
She also worked as a cashier at Jubitz and also at a shoe store in the evenings. She used her extra money to help siblings, parents and later nieces and nephews. Blanche moved back to Milton-Freewater in 1979 to care for her father. She worked for St. Mary Medical Center during this time. In 1981 she went to work for Key (Equipment) Technology. She retired from Key in about 1998. Blanche disliked inactivity, so she went to work for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin running the switchboard. She retired for the second time when she was 80 years old. She also taught night school for Blue Mountain Community College. Blanche taught business courses to many women; this was the love of her life.
She is survived by a daughter, Muriel VanHousen of Seattle; four sisters, Alda Postlewait of Walla Walla, Anna Miller of Portland, Vesta Poteete and Ellen Faber, both of Milton-Freewater; nieces and nephews including, Jason and Michael Postlewait, Denise Mills and Theresa Thompson and countless friends.