Blanche (Breiner) Schenkel of Longmont, Colorado, passed away on March 20, 2020, after a brief illness.
Blanche was born in Norton, Kansas, on February 6, 1939, to Joseph and Florence (Watt) Breiner. Her close-knit family included two older brothers, an older sister and, eventually, a younger sister. Shortly after Blanche was born, the family moved to Bradshaw, Nebraska—just a stone’s throw from her beloved grandma, Cora (Prochaska) Watt. As soon as Blanche was old enough to ride a bike, she would pedal over the back roads to spend afternoons with Grandma Watt—who had an uncanny ability to sneak Blanche a caramel from her pocket without Blanche’s mom seeing. Hers was an idyllic childhood.
However, after Blanche graduated at the top of her high school class, she decided she’d had enough of the country life and moved to the big city of Lincoln, where she graduated from business school and worked at the old State theater. One day, she met a dashing young fireman named Larry Schenkel. They had a whirlwind romance and married in 1959. One year later, daughter Laura was born, with daughter Patty arriving a few years after that. Laura and Patty were the light of their mother’s life and remained so until Blanche’s death. She would tell anyone within earshot how proud she was of her daughters.
Blanche’s great passion for most of her adult life was bowling. With her bowling team, she traveled the country going from tournament to tournament. Those women had a bond that was as much family as Blanche’s blood relatives.
Eventually the girls grew up, and Larry and Blanche grew apart. They divorced in 1978 but remained close until Larry’s death in 2019. Blanche never remarried.
In the mid-80s, Laura and Patty found their way to Colorado and met their husbands, Bill DeMoulin and Vic Love (respectively). Blanche often joked(?) that she loved her sons-in-law more than she loved her daughters. Then Laura blessed Blanche with her first grandchild, Nick, in 1987, and Blanche burned up I-80 to visit. The next year, Laura gave Blanche her second grandchild, Margeaux, and Blanche ditched the 10-hour drive and moved to Colorado to be closer to her grandchildren—who became two more lights in Blanche’s life.
Blanche always said she was “not good with people,” but her entire career was spent helping the public, mostly at the county clerks’ offices in Lancaster and Boulder counties and later as a title clerk at Essex South. She always went the extra mile for her customers and was often rewarded with letters of thanks and small gifts. She treasured these keepsakes and kept them her entire life.
Cherished by her family, Blanche is survived by Laura and her family (Bill; Nick, his children, Layla and Harrison, and their mother Ali; and Margeaux [Christopherson], her husband, Xan, and their children, Madison, Finley, William and a little one on the way whom Blanche would have loved spoiling, like all the others), Patty and her family (Vic; stepdaughter Laurie and her children, Scotty and Randie; and stepson Bryan, his wife Liz, and their children, Brady, Katy and Ryan), sister Ruth (Breiner) Keenan, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by brothers Eugene and Michael Breiner and sister Mary (Breiner) Cox.
There will be a memorial gathering after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
Donations can be made to the Longmont Humane Society or Colorado Wildlife Federation.
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