1922 - 2012
Marcel C. Blanc, 89, of Waitsburg died Oct. 10, 2012, at the Regency at The Park in College Place. Private family services will be held in the Milton-Freewater Cemetery. A celebration of life luncheon for friends and family will be held at Jacobi’s in Walla Walla on Nov. 17, 2012, at 1 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made to the Walla Walla Community Hospice through the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main St., Milton-Freewater, OR.
One of nine children, Marcel was born Oct. 23, 1922, in Livingston, Mont., to Joseph and Georgina Eyraud Blanc. Marcel, still an infant, his elder siblings and their parents moved to Welland, Wash., where the family farmed and tended to a growing sheep operation. The family growing, Joseph and Georgina realized that a move to Burbank was needed in order for the children to attend school. At a young age, Marcel would accompany the sheepherders from Eureka to the Blue Mountains after school was out and stay there throughout the summers.
Here Marcel developed an enduring love and knowledge of the Blue Mountains that would continue to rejuvenate him throughout his life. In 1935, the family moved to Walla Walla, where he graduated from St. Patrick’s Catholic High School in 1940. Marcel was kept back from entering World War II to tend to the family ranch while several of his brothers went off to join the effort. Many years later, Mr. Blanc stated that not being able to join the European military campaign was his greatest regret.
Marcel married Gaye McCoy in October of 1959 in Walla Walla. They settled in southern Walla Walla, where he raised hogs and continued on with the daily operations of the ranch. In 1964, they moved to Touchet to be closer to those operations. Marcel continued to raise sheep and then cattle on the family’s acreage near the Snake River. Years later, the ranch was leased and Marcel worked for a corporate farm, tilling the same soil he had raised his sheep and cattle on. In 1977, the family moved back to Walla Walla.
After retiring, Mr. and Mrs. Blanc owned and operated a restaurant on Ninth Avenue called “Something Different.” Later, after a few harsh winters residing on Lewis Peak, Mr. and Mrs. Blanc relocated to Waitsburg, owning and operating the White Stallion Restaurant.
Marcel was a longtime member of the Elks, Walla Walla Wagon Wheelers and the Washington Cattlemen’s Association. He loved playing cards with his brothers and friends at the Elks in Walla Walla, along with accompanying his sons on their annual winter camp out in the Blue Mountains, supervising every moment to make sure his teachings had stuck.
Survivors include his four sons, Chris Blanc of Waitsburg, Jon and Marcus Blanc of Dixie, Tim Blanc of Kennewick; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sisters, Agnes Long of Livingston, Mont., Elizabeth Howard of Seattle, Virginia Campbell of Atlanta; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gaye, on March 13, 2009; and daughter, Renee Fitzjohn-Kinzer, on May 25, 1990; brothers, Joseph Jr., Albert, Raymond, Robert; and his sister, Mary Louise Blanc.