Albert Nickels Blanchard
Albert Nickels Blanchard of Searsport, and Monroe Township, N.J., died Friday, Sept. 13. He was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 26, 1917, the older son of William Albert and Stella Maude Blanchard. He attended Polytechnic Preparatory Country Day School (“Poly Prep”) in Brooklyn, and graduated from Harvard College cum laude in Economics in 1939. At Harvard, he lettered in lacrosse and was enrolled in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Upon graduation he was commissioned an ensign in the United States Navy. During World War II, Al served as a gunnery officer on carriers transporting aircraft, mainly in the Pacific. While stationed for three months in Tacoma, Wash., awaiting the completion of USS Prince William, he met and married Shirley Eunice Moxness. He retired from the reserves with the rank of commander in 1965.
Shirley and Al celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in May 2013. Upon returning to civilian life, Al was a vice president of Turner & Blanchard — one of New York City’s oldest and largest stevedore contracting companies. He later joined the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as senior marine terminal property representative. He retired in 1983.
Al’s 95 summers were spent in Searsport. Over the years he was grounded and enriched by knowing his great grandparents, great aunts, uncles, grandparents, and parents. He listened to the stories of the deep water sea captains who retired in Searsport and enjoyed the boyhood freedoms of a small town with his brother and cousins. Until Shirley and children displaced them, Searsport and sailing were Al’s top priorities. He was a consummate sailor, generous and kindhearted father, with a quiet but delightful sense of humor. His friends remember Al with love and admiration.
Al is predeceased by his brother George and George’s wife Janet, of Garden City, NY, and his brother-in-law Gayne Moxness and Gayne’s wife, Diana, of St. Helens, Ore. He is survived by his loving wife, and children William A. Blanchard (Julia) of Larchmont, N.Y.; Betty C. Johnson (Lyle) of Mission Viejo, Calif.; David M. Blanchard (Paula) of Camden, Maine; and Mary M. Blanchard of New York, N.Y. Al also leaves nieces and nephews Craig Blanchard (Linda) of Miller Place, N.Y.; Carolyn Herbst (Rick) of Garden City, N.Y.; Steven Moxness of New York, N.Y.; David Moxness (Cindy), of Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Nancy Moxness-Scheel (Darwin) of Beaverton, Ore.; six grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the First Congregational Church of Searsport. In lieu of flowers, a contribution can be made in Al’s memory to one of the organizations he supported: the First Congregational Church (P.O. Box 261), Mosman Memorial Park Association (P.O. Box 263), or the Searsport Historical Society (P.O. Box 28), all in Searsport (ME 04974). Arrangements are under the direction of Young’s Funeral Home, 31 West Main Street, Searsport ME 04974.