Cover photo for James P. "Jimmy" Blanchard's Obituary
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1968 James 2023

James P. "Jimmy" Blanchard

August 1, 1968 — October 26, 2023

Odebolt, Iowa

  James P. “Jimmy” Blanchard, 55, of Odebolt, Iowa, received his wings on Thursday, October 26, 2023. Per his request, cremation has taken place. A celebration of his life will be held at 7pm on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel. Visitation will be two hours prior to the service. Online condolences may be directed to www.meyerbroschapels.com

  Jimmy was welcomed into this world on August 1, 1968 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, to Pat and Dave Blanchard, moving to Sioux City when he was only six months old. He attended Sioux City Schools, graduating from West High School’s class of 1988. Jimmy was known for being open to trying anything and everything.

  He joined the United States Army in 1988. In Sioux City, Jimmy cooked at the Horizon Restaurant, helped restore the Adam’s Nature Center, and built the animatronics at Pizza Peddler. There he brought “Wilbur,” the pizza delivery wolf, to life.

  He was active in the Boy Scouts and tae kwon do, where he earned his brown belt. Later, Jimmy built his dream car—his Volkswagon Bug. He customized it and entered it in car shows, where it received many trophies and awards.

  On November 11, 1990 he married Laurie Francis, and the two later divorced however they remained life long friends. In August of 2001, he married Valerie McArthur at the Castle on the Hill. They were the last couple to be married there! The two later parted ways.

  Jimmy then went on to work at McCormack Motors in Odebolt, furthering his education by receiving multiple certifications from Ford and obtaining the status of Senior Master Ford Technician. While working there, he met Dawn Gehlsen and on March 21, 2008, they were married. From this union, Jimmy became the much loved father of her four girls: Melodie, Stephanie, Amanda, and Emily. He had the great honor of escorting Stephanie and Amanda down the aisle. Later, he became Grandpa to his namesake, James, as well as to Ellie, Cole, Claire, and Aurora.

  He started a business flipping homes, again showing his abilities to turn mere houses into warm homes.

  Jimmy could light up a room and if you were lucky enough to become a friend, you were a friend for life. He will be forever loved and missed.

  Those left to honor his memory are his parents, Pat and Dave Blanchard; his brothers, Richard and Quentin; his much loved nephews Miles Willer, Cameron, Dawson, and Chance Blanchard; his niece, Davielle and great-niece and great-nephew, Delilhla and Dallas Solma; his bonus brothers, Eddie Fuller and Marc Fowler; his wife, Dawn; her children: Melodie, Stephanie, Amanda and Emily, as well as their spouses; his father-in-law, Wes Gehlsen; and extended family and friends.

  Those preceding Jimmy in death include his paternal and maternal grandparents; his brother, David L. Blanchard, Jr.; two days prior to his passing, by his great-great-uncle Joe Tomaino of Red Bank, NJ; and his special aunt, Angela Tomaino Morley.

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