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Blanche Louise Oujiri

Cedar Rapids

Blanche Louise Oujiri died on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, of congestive heart failure at West Ridge Care Center at age 92.
Blanche McPherson was born May 2, 1927, to Willard and Edna in Fairfield, Iowa. She first attended Tyler Elementary School and later Wilson High School. After graduation, Blanche went to work for Interocean Reinsurance Co., staying only about one year. She married George J. Oujiri on June 22, 1946, which threatened her working career, and the arrival of a honeymoon baby on March 23, 1947, closed it. Three more children over the next 10 years cemented her caregiver role in lieu of paid employment.
Blanche gave herself over tirelessly to wife, mother and protector, doing far more for her family than anyone could expect. When her sister, Doris, broke her back, weakened by bone cancer, Blanche became head nurse and caregiver for her until the end after more than two years. When her mother (Edna) developed Alzheimer's disease, she was moved into Blanche's home, long vacant of children, for Edna's final years.
Converting to Catholicism after marriage, Blanche was active in church study groups, the Catholic Order of Foresters, and thoroughly enjoyed playing cards. Pinochle and 500 with family on Sunday afternoons and other gatherings were supplemented by bridge games twice a week for many years. In the years of a house vacant of children, Blanche became an avid reader, bringing home books by the boxful from the library every two weeks. As youngly married, Blanche was only a passable cook, but over time became an excellent one. While of German descent herself, she learned many traditional Czech favorites like potato dumplings from her husband's relatives. In addition to the Czech specialties kolaches and hoska, she excelled at pastries of all sorts.
Declining gradually after her 70s, Blanche was increasingly unable to host large family events then relegated to the younger generation. She was thrilled to have about 80 people attend her 90th birthday party, replete with all four children, three of the four grandchildren, five of the seven great-grandchildren, neighbors, friends and bridge club members.
Preceded in death by her husband of 66 years, both parents and three siblings, as well as most of her contemporary friends.
She is survived by her four children, Michael, James, Janet Hanover and Steven; her four grandchildren, Jeffrey, Janessa Hada, Jason and Christina Armstrong; and nine great-grandchildren, Katie, Lindy, Matthew, Bethany, Nora, Megan, Brittnay, Kiarra and Mariah.
Services will begin with visitation at 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Cedar Memorial Westside Chapel, 1221 First Ave. NW. A Funeral Mass will be held at
11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at St. Jude Catholic Church, 50 Edgewood Rd. NW. Inurnment will take place at St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.
Please leave a message for the family on our Web page, www.cedarmemorial.com, under obituaries.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mercy Hospice and Palliative Care memory of Blanche.
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