Blanch Louise James, 83, passed away at her home in Phoenix on May 6, 2007.
She was born in Kingston, Okla., on May 27, 1923, the fourth of six children to Robert and Eula Park.
Blanch was preceded in death by her two older brothers, Melvin and Robert Park, and her sisters, Virginia Carter and Mildred James.
She is survived by her younger brother, James Park of Modesto, Calif.; her daughters, Earlene Esquibel of Phoenix and Lorraine Wallace of Henderson, Nev.; seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
She had been a beautician, and over the years owned and operated beauty shops in Parker, Bullhead City and Kingman, before retiring and moving to Phoenix to be closer to her daughters and their families.
Maintaining contact with family members from Oklahoma to California was always very important to Blanch and she enthusiastically looked forward to planning and attending the large family reunions that were held every several years.
She enjoyed reminiscing about her high school years when she and her sister Mildred, being taller than most of their classmates, led the women's basketball team.
Her strength was her life-long belief in the Lord, and she was active in church activities and sang along with her Mildred in the Kingman Baptist Church choir during the many years she lived in Kingman.
She loved watching Billy Graham on TV and singing along with Bill Gaither's Southern Gospel programs. She became an avid Phoenix Suns fan and tried to watch every game. Her emotions ran high or low depending on whether the team won or lost.
She will be missed by all for her exceptional example of spiritual living, her honesty and straight-forwardness, her genuine caring for all people, particularly children, and her unconditional love for her family.
Those who are grieving her passing are comforted in knowing that she is in a better place and finally at rest.
Graveyard services will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 9, at Phoenix Memorial Park, 200 West Beardsley Road, Phoenix.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Blanch are encouraged to Banner Hospice, 1325 North Fiesta Boulevard, Suite # 1, Gilbert, AZ 85233.