ROBERT CHESTER BLANSHAN
MEMORIES FROM
BOB'S KIDS
When I was young, Dad seemed fearless to me.  I always felt safe when he was around.  
Dad was always friendly and outgoing.  No one ever spoke to as many strangers in public
places as he did.  He was always in the thick of things, whether it was out on the court with
the Globetrotters or making friends with George Foreman. He always said what was on his
mind too, whether it was appreciated or not.  He let his yea be yea and his nay be nay.  I
never heard my dad tell a lie.  Dad was a strong enough man to let his emotions show at
times.  I remember getting on the bus in Bemidji to go into the Navy and seeing tears in his
eyes.  And when Davie died, he cried openly.  Dad was always a friend to the underdog, no
matter how inconvenient or unpopular.  It is a trait I hope to have inherited from him.     My
dad was one of the most determined and unswervable (my spellcheck says that's not a
word) people I know.  He set his compass early in his life with the Bible as his guide and
never strayed off course.  He was humble, however, when it came to his accomplishments
in the church.
                                                                                                                      --Rebecca
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Robert (Bob) Chester Blanshan was born February 4, 1926 in Mankato, Minnesota, to
Ralph and Edith (Fern) Pearson Blanshan.  He attended school in Mankato.  During World
War II he served in the U. S. Navy and the Merchant Marine in the northern Pacific.  Bob
attended Nebraska Christian College and graduated from Midwestern School of
Evangelism in Ottumwa, Iowa.  He met his wife June (Colebank) Blanshan while roller-
skating in Mankato.  They were married on August 20, 1947 at the Church of Christ in
Madelia, Minnesota.  Bob was ordained into the ministry in December of 1949 at the
Church of Christ in Madelia by J. Rowland Wilder.  He served in Churches of Christ in
Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Florida and Colorado.  He and his wife June served four
years as missionaries in Jamaica, West Indies.  Bob preferred to preach in small
churches. To supplement his income he worked as a school bus driver, feed store
manager, farm laborer and as a policeman in Lake Crystal and West Concord, Minnesota
and a Juvenile probation officer in Lincoln, Nebraska.  While working as a probation
officer, he took part in the manhunt for mass murderer Charles Starkweather in 1959.  He
enjoyed preaching, hunting, fishing, visiting with friends and relatives, writing poems for
special occasions, camping, reading westerns and was an avid Minnesota Twins and
Vikings fan.  One of his favorite past-times was listening to his extended family play and
sing.  He especially loved spaghetti, chocolate and Dave’s Pizza in Bemidji.  Bob had a
special place in his heart for the handicapped and started the North Central Sheltered
Workshop in Bemidji. Bob developed Lewy Body Dementia in his eighties and had to be
admitted to the Luther Memorial Home in Madelia, Minnesota in 2012. He suffered a fall in
July, 2013 and never recovered. He died on July 23, 2013 and his funeral was held July
28th at the Madelia Church of Christ. His ashes will be enurned at Minneopa Cemetery
near Mankato near the grave of his son Davie.

The children of Bob and June Colebank Blanshan are:

Barbara Ann - born December 21, 1948 in Norfolk, Nebraska

Dale Allen - born December 26, 1949 in Madelia, Minnesota

Rebecca Rose - born January 2, 1951 in Ottumwa, Iowa

Nancy Jane - born November 3, 1954 in Tilden, Nebraska

Suzanne Eileen - born May 2, 1956 in Tilden, Nebraska

David Warren - born April 17, 1960 in Lincoln, Nebraska

Amy Jo - born January 30, 1962 in Lincoln, Nebraska

Brenda Kay - born January 11, 1968 in Rochester, Minnesota
Daddy had a big heart and  never met a stranger. He had a mission - to tell others about
God - and never rested from trying to reach as many people as he could. Daddy was
always fearless...to a fault!  He was the first one on and the last one off the ice in the
winter.  He once went, hobbling along with his cane, over to the neighbor's house  to tell
him that his party was too loud - telling a yard full of strapping young men that they'd
better quiet down when he needed support to stay upright! Daddy loved to tease Mom
and scare her....driving precariously/perilously close to the edge of cliffs in Jamaica. I
remember one time in Florida, he thought he would jump out from behind a tree and
scare Mama, the Williamson's and me, but instead he jumped out from behind the tree
and tripped and went sprawling.  We nearly died from laughing. Daddy thought he was a
pretty good driver, but he didn't look in the rear view much. When Daddy wasn't studying
his Bible and preparing a lesson, he was playing a game or watching the Twins or the
Vikings lose again.  I always enjoyed beating my dad at games.  I beat him at almost
everything.  Many times.  
                                                                                                                        --Brenda
Click on the picture below to enter
Bob's Photo Album
I enjoyed being home after all the rest of you left cause I got to be the one to do things
with him. Brenda was too small yet, so I got to go fishing with him, and he was the one
who got me started hunting. I have lots of fun and funny memories of hunting trips that I
will never forget and I smile every time I think of them. We had lots of good times together
hunting and I am appreciative of every one of them. Also, I have two specific memories
that are very special to me. One is when Dad took me on the tour bus that took us around
the Indy 500 track. Mom and Brenda didn't go but he took me. That was a thrill, and also I
will never forget when he took me to my first Vikings game. Brenda and Mom sat out in
the parking lot cause it cost too much to take us all, and they didn't really care about the
game anyway. I felt pretty special those times. There are lots of good memories I have
with Dad and I cherish each and every one of them.    
                                                                                                                          -- Amy
LEONIN BLANCHAMP, father of
MATTHEUS BLANSHAN, father of
MATHIEU BLANSHAN, father of
MATTHEUS BLANSHAN, father of
JACOB BLANSHAN, father of
MATTHEUS JACOB BLANSHAN, father of
JACOB SMEDES BLANSHAN, father of
MATHEW J BLANSHAN, father of
CHESTER RALPH BLANSHAN, father of
RALPH JAY BLANSHAN, father of
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