Paul David Blanchard of Eau Claire passed away on Sunday, September 4, 2022, in Eau Claire.
He was born January 28, 1933, in Chippewa Falls, WI, to Frank and Tillie (Peterson) Blanchard. Paul attended Holy Ghost grade school and graduated from Chippewa Falls McDonell Central High School in 1951. Paul majored in math with minors in physics and chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He taught at Mondovi High School from 1955-1958 and Chippewa Falls High School from 1959-1961. After receiving a Master’s degree from the State University of Iowa at Cedar Falls, he pursued further graduate work in mathematics at Auburn University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Minnesota. Paul taught mathematics at UW-Eau Claire from 1962 to 1993, retiring as Associate Professor Emeritus.
Paul had a lifelong love of birds and bird photography. Door County, Wisconsin, and Hawk Ridge in Duluth, Minnesota, were two favorite places for yearly visits. He has traveled extensively, always seeking new bird species to photograph from National Parks, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Alaska, Yukon Territory, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. His most rewarding bird trips were to Puerto Rico, Belize, Costa Rica and Ecuador. These destinations provided him with many bird species to photograph, including 100 different species of hummingbirds, his favorite bird.
Sharing his love of traveling and birds was important to Paul. He loved giving slide shows and bird talks to his daughters and grandchildren. Paul’s three daughters had wonderful summer adventures visiting campgrounds around Wisconsin with their father, especially Peninsula State Park in Door County. He was also known for giving programs about his travels. Paul kept bird pictures in his coat pocket so he could give them to people he encountered. When strangers on the hiking trails asked what he was taking pictures of with that big lens, he always took time to show his photos and give them a bird quiz. Paul and Carol, a longtime special friend and local artist, enjoyed visiting art shows together and shared a love of nature.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents and older brother, Dayton. He is also recently preceded in death by longtime friend and companion, Carol F. Gutsch.
He is survived by his daughters, Rebekah Blanchard, Elizabeth Blanchard-Connolly (Guy) and Katherine Dvorak (Kevin); many grandchildren and great- grandchildren; and his former wife, Judith Blanchard. Paul and Judy maintained a caring friendship over the years and enjoyed connecting with their children together during holidays and special occasions. Paul is also survived by sister-in-law, Ann Blanchard; niece, Debbie Karaca (Emre); nephews, Andrew Blanchard (Carol) and David Blanchard (Janet); and great-nieces and -nephews. He touched many lives and will be lovingly missed by his family and friends.
A private family service will be held at Hope Cemetery in Chippewa Falls. Evergreen Funeral Home and Crematory in Eau Claire is serving the family.
Condolences, memories and stories of Paul may be shared by visiting obituaries at www.evergreenfuneralhome.com. The family would prefer memorials be given in memory of Paul to the National Audubon Society https://www.audubon.org/.
Funeral homes often submit obituaries as a service to the families they are assisting. However, we will be happy to accept obituaries from family members pending proper verification of the death.
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