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1929 Blanche 2020

Blanche Elizabeth Renfroe

February 3, 1929 — February 9, 2020

Blanche Elizabeth Renfroe, nee Beaudreau, 91 of Swansea, Illinois passed away peacefully on Sunday February 9, 2020 surrounded by her loving family. Born on February 3, 1929 in Pascagoula, Mississippi, she was the daughter of John T. and Eulalie Beaudreau, nee Glaude and they preceded her in death. Blanche is also preceded in death by her husband, Everett Merritt Renfroe Jr. and her daughter, Michelle Renfroe-Fortier, her siblings:Geneva Victoria Branson, Bertis Marie Woldon Vaugn, Carlos Sylvester Beaudreau, Alma Aleada Hutchinson, Melva Rose Gaitwood, and Margaret Joann Hafler

Left to cherish her memory are her daughters, Denise E. Renfroe of Washington, D.C. and Carla Marie (Gary) Cruise. Her grandchildren; Jordan Cruise, Alexandria and Ariana Blakemore of Swansea, Illinois, Her nieces; Sharon Gaitwood Diggs, Roxann Runderson, Henrietta (Carl) Davis, Eulalia Hafler, Yvette Birdsong (Leonard) and Lynette Hutchinson. Her nephews; Leslie J. Hutchinson, Darryl G. Gaitwood, Charles Hafler and many more nieces and nephews of the Renfroe family and beloved friends.

After graduating from high school Blanche moved to Chicago and her brother Carlos also relocated to the windy city a few years later. Her “Mother” insisted she lived with Aunt Delores and Uncle Horris to help achieve her dreams. Blanche believed that education is the tool that opens the door of opportunity. She graduated from college with an associate's degree and was attracted to the healthcare field. She dedicated more than 35 years to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center.

Blanche met a handsome man, Everett “Pete” Renfroe Jr., who became her husband on March 31, 1956. They were married 62 years. He was the love of her life. They raised a family, traveled the world and overcame many obstacles together.

Blanche was a devoted Catholic. She was instrumental in her family attending mass every Sunday, paying tithes and made sure that her children were in Sunday School enhancing their christian faith. Even though Blanche was employed full time, she enjoyed making her house a home and providing for her family. She was creative by working with her hands. She sewed and made her children’s clothing, sofa covers and curtains. She knitted and crochet a variety of articles; aphagans, hanging planters and her family were never without hand made hats or gloves. She was an aspiring cook always looking for new recipes to dazzle your tastebuds. When anyone was sick she would make a pot of chicken noodle soup and believed chicken broth healed the soul. Blanche wasn’t a sports fanatic but watching the super bowl’s halftime and eating her delicious concoctions was the event. She was an entrepreneur by being the first mother in our neighborhood to make homemade pizza before it was popular. Blanche was also very health conscientious. She cooked in moderation and exercised regularly and insisted her children join her to the tunes of her favorite artist Tom Jones. Gardening was Blanche’s therapy. She would wake up early when the morning dew was still on the grass to water her flowers. The neighbors knew her well and if you wanted to see or talk to her, you knew you would find her in the backyard caring for her roses or manicuring her lawn.

As Blanche Elizabeth matured, she enjoyed being a mother, grandmother and aunt. Her nickname she was most proud of was “Grammy”. She loved her family deeply and there wasn’t anything she would not do for them. She was a wise woman and sharing her family history was a priority.

She is a lily in the valley and her memory will stay in our hearts forever. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Proverbs 31:28. All services will be private.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Blanche Elizabeth Renfroe, please visit our flower store.


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