July 8, 2020
Blanche F. (Britsch) Schuler, 97, died of natural causes at Billings’ Tender Nest Assisted Living, in Billings, Mont., early Sunday, July 5, 2020. She had lived from January 2017 until this June in Aspen Meadows, also in Billings.
Family will receive friends at Bell Mortuary, Glasgow, Mont., Thursday, July 9, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Her funeral will be Friday, July 10, at the Hinsdale American Legion Hall at 10:30 a.m., with burial following in Hinsdale Hillview Cemetery, in Hinsdale, Mont. A reception in her honor will be held at the Hall following the service and burial, social distancing requested.
She was born north of Hinsdale, Oct. 18, 1922, to Charles and Florence (Williamson) Britsch, and was the youngest of three. Her parents and siblings, Earl Britsch, Hinsdale, and Mary (Britsch) Reding, California, preceded her in death.
Blanche married Bruce R. Schuler June 29, 1939, in Wolf Point, Mont. The couple lived in Los Angeles, Calif., and San Francisco, Calif., early in their marriage. They spent, however, the majority of their lives in Hinsdale. She served as bookkeeper for the Farmers Union Oil and Supply (with husband as her boss) for a majority of her work years. She also was employed at the Cenex and Valley View Nursing Home in Glasgow.
They were the parents of three daughters: Mary Irene (Hank) Mason, Ohio; Carol (Ed) Damm, Billings; and Vickie (Terry) Cariveau, Lakeside. She was proud, also, of her nine grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, seven great-great-grandchildren, and three nieces and three nephews, trying always to keep abreast of their lives.
Active in the community she loved, Blanche was a Life Member of the Hinsdale American Legion Auxiliary, the Hinsdale United Methodist Church and Women’s Circle, and the Senior Citizens, serving as treasurer.
She was fond of gardening, both vegetables and flowers; hunting; sewing; and even a bit of carpentry. With her sharp memory, Blanche was relied upon for furnishing history information and stories to both locals and out-of-towners alike. The Pioneer Museum in Glasgow often referred researchers to her. One of those resulted in her being cited as a contributor to Jane Lambert’s "Charlie Russell, The Cowboy Years." She was also recognized statewide for her poem “The Silent Message of the Poppy.”
Of utmost importance to Blanche was RESPECT--for family, friends, creatures, community, country. She knew no stranger, always being able to find some common ground. She was the last surviving “mom” for the HHS classes of 1958 and 1963, the years her two older daughters were graduated. As a lifelong learner, when her vision failed, she attended a several-week workshop in Helena to learn methods of coping with that.
Blanche loved living in her own home and so it was with reluctance when she moved to Billings early 2017. Soon, though, she found a new circle of friends, but especially loved the visits, phone calls, and notes from her beloved Valley County friends. At Aspen, she and a “sighted” friend would enjoy working crossword puzzles and jumbles together. She also loved verbal games, songs, and humor!
When the pandemic “lockdown” forced such a solitary life upon this extrovert, Blanche relied on window and phone visits that were difficult. One or all gathered outside the window daily to sing with her on the inside also singing. Her favorites were “Jesus Loves Me,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “Home on the Range,” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” which provided her with some PT and giggles all the way around. She also continued to excel with the word games.
Besides her parents and siblings, she was preceded in death by her husband in August 1988, son-in-law Hank, and grandson Kenneth Damm.
Should anyone desire, memorials in her name may be made to the Hinsdale Hillview Cemetery, Hinsdale United Methodist Church, Hinsdale Ambulance Fund, Hinsdale Legion Auxiliary, or Pioneer Museum in Glasgow. She was firm in support of local-area giving.
We will all miss her.