Charles R. Blanchard, 91; WWII Veteran Drove OPT Bus Until Age 75

IN MEMORIAM: Charles R. Blanchard, 91;

WWII Veteran Drove OPT Bus Until Age 75

ONEONTA – One of Oneonta’s few remaining members of “The Greatest Generation” passed away today, Aug.  8, 2019, to be welcomed by his family and many friends in heaven.

Charles R. Blanchard, 91, was born in Oneonta on May 25, 1928, the son of Merton and Emma (Roscoe) Blanchard.  He attended Oneonta schools and then joined the war effort serving in the Merchant Marines and Navy.

After the war, Charles worked for the Amphenol Corp. and retired after 40 years. Retirement did not slow him down as he then got his CDL license and drove for the OPT until age 75.

Charlie has a wealth of historical information about Oneonta and growing up during the Great Depression. He was very proud of his family and loved to tell stories of their lives growing up in the East End.

His love of family carried on as he married Betty Jean Young on Nov. 7, 1948. They raised two daughters and enjoyed their 5 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Charles was a good friend to many and was often seen in later years zipping around West End on his scooter chair, visiting Soda Jerks and Mac’s Barber Shop. He and Betty enjoyed square dancing, country music, flea markets, county fairs and Moose Club activities.

Charles was predeceased by his parents, wife and five siblings, Merton (Rita), Robert (Dolly), Gordon (Jane), Jenny (Warren Sargent) and Shirley (Pat Cutler).

He is survived by his daughters, Norine Flack (Curt) of Otego and Jodie Gerowe (Fred) of Oneonta; grandchildren, Robin, Brooke, Michael, Nathan and Garth; great-grandchildren, Paige, Lucas, Seth, Colin, Julia, Maddox, Maison, Charlie, Connor and Kieran; his sister-in-law, Janice Ackley of Oneonta; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be at 1 p.m., Monday, Aug. 12, at the Evergreen Cemetery, 278 Main St., Otego, for family and close friends. Pastor Bob Thompson from the First Christian Church of Otego, will officiate.  Charlie loved attending covered dish dinners at “his little church on the hill.”

Donations may be made to the Oxford Veterans Home, or to the charity of one’s choice.

Expressions of sympathy may be made the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home’s website,

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