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Spaulding, Blanche Brobeil (1913-2011)

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Funeral program biographical sketch:

Birth date: 1913 Nov 3

Text of obituary:

Blanche (Brobeil) Spaulding was born November 3, 1913, the only child of Charles and Maude (Long) Brobeil. She grew up on a farm in Sac City, Iowa, where music and books were a part of everyday life. She graduated from Lytton High School as valedictorian of her class. She earned her B.S. degree in Home Economics Education from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

Highlights of her growing up years centered around her activities in Iowa 4-H club work. Strong 4-H club records made it possible for her to attend the National 4-H Congress in Chicago and to represent Iowa 4-H girls at National 4-H camp in Washington, D.C. (She was elected state 4-H girls’ president.)

Following her graduation from college, she served one year as Boone County (Iowa) Home Demonstration agent. The following year she was a graduate student in the U.S.D.A. graduate School on a Payne 4-H Scholarship. She returned to Ames to become Assistant State 4-H Club leader in the Extension Service.

On December 3 1st, 1940, she married J. Lloyd Spaulding who was employed by the U.S.D.A. During the war years they worked in Church of the Brethren Civilian Public Service Camps, where Blanche served as director of Cooking Schools in Lyndhurst, Virginia; Magnolia, Arkansas; New Windsor, Maryland; and Manchester College, Indiana.

In 1947 the Spauldings moved to North Newton, Kansas where Lloyd joined the faculty of Bethel College. The Spauldings remained at Bethel College except for a four year period in Wichita, Kansas where Lloyd served as regional Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee.

Through the years the children joined to complete the family circle: sons Jay and Timothy and daughter Susan. Blanche and Lloyd found their richest experiences as they and their children grew together in the community. Later on grandchildren and great grandchildren brought additional rewards.

Blanche had been baptized in the Presbyterian Church in Lytton, Iowa where she remained a member of that fellowship until she and Lloyd joined Bethel College Mennonite Church on November 18, 1956. In May of 1998 Blanche was presented with a plaque recognizing her 46 years as a Sunday school teacher of children and youth in that church. During these years she also taught in Church Schools of Peace and Schools of Missions and Daily Vacation Bible Schools as well as workshops conducted by Kansas Council of Churches.

Blanche served for many years as the librarian of the Western District Loan Library. She found rich rewards in the position and made many friends. It was an opportunity to share her love of books and readings. As part of that experience she started a preschool story hour in 1976. For 29 years this joy was a part of Blanche’s life as she regularly shared stories with children in Western District Library, Community Play School, Kauffman Museum, Newton Medical Center Child Care, and countless story times in school classrooms, Scout troops and camps. She found special happiness when children of parents who had been in her story hours appeared for a second generation of “story fun”. She concluded her last story hour in December 2005.

Blanche enjoyed teaching in any form. She started teaching in a country school when she was eighteen and concluded her career as a member of the Bethel College faculty teaching courses in Children’s Literature and Teaching Children in the Church for several years.

Blanche and Lloyd had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary before Lloyd moved to Kidron Bethel Healthcare early in 1994. In November of that year Blanche moved to an independent living apartment at Kidron Bethel. After Lloyd died in early 1995, Blanche was so happy she had made the move and “found” a home of her own. She treasured her years at Kidron Bethel.

Blanche is survived by sons Jay Spaulding and his wife, Stephanie Beswick of Muncie, Indiana; Timothy Spaulding and his wife, Reneé and their sons Michael and Ryan of Oswego, Illinois; daughter Susan Graves and her husband Jon, and their daughter Kimberly Wenger and her husband Nicholas of Wichita, Kansas; and their son William Graves and his wife Sarah of Las Cruces, New Mexico; and great grandchildren, Jakob, Jackson, and Caroline Wenger of Wichita, Kansas. She is also remembered by many friends.

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