Blanche Jean (nee Dunn) Nielsen at age 95 entered peacefully into eternal rest on May 27, 2018 in Helena, Montana, while in the presence of family.
She was born April 21, 1923 in Harlowton, Montana to Laurence C. Dunn and Helen May (nee Lanska) Dunn. She went through school in Harlowton and graduated from Harlowton High School. Blanche played the violin all through her school years and the love of music was inherited by her three sons.
She moved to Bozeman with her parents following her graduation and went to work at the county office for the Agricultural Adjustment Agency (AAA), located in the Gallatin County courthouse. She transferred to the State Office, which later became the Production and Management Administration (PMA). She met her husband, Peter Leslie Nielsen, when he returned from World War II and joined his previous position at the State PMA office.
They were married September 4, 1946 at her folks’ ranch home south of Bozeman. They built a new home on South 13th Ave in Bozeman where they raised their three sons and she continued to reside until her death. She was the last original homeowner on her street and her neighbors kindly helped her.
She was a fifty-year member of the Bozeman United Methodist Church and the Lily of the Valley Order of the Eastern Star. She was also a member of Acacia White Shrine, Sapphira Nile Temple of Helena, Bozeman Senior Center, Gallatin Good Sam, Wesleyan Circle and the Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society. She was president of the DeMolay Mothers Club three times, past president of Bozeman Women’s Club, past president of the Bozeman Housekeepers Club, Past Worthy High Priestess of White Shrine and the last president of Nile Club No. 9.
Blanche and her husband managed the Yellowstone Conference Credit Union for 25 years, which included all ministers in Montana, northern Wyoming and one parish in Idaho.
She and her husband were interested in Montana ghost towns; he photographed and gave shows on his collection and travels. She and her husband loved to travel with their trailer. After her husband passed, she continued traveling with the Good Sam’s for 13 years.
Les and Blanche were unable to attend college, but they saw to it that their three sons all attended Montana State University and all get their bachelor degrees. David went on to University of Montana to get a degree in law, Larry received a Master’s in Music Education from University of Montana and Keith received a Master’s in Percussion Performance from Eastern Washington University. She was very proud of her family.
Blanche is survived by her three sons: David Nielsen (wife Judy), Larry Nielsen (companion Tammy), Keith Nielsen (wife Dori) and Sharon Nielsen. She had five granddaughters, Christie Chaar (husband Hatem), Michelle Haught (husband Ryan) Amanda Yocom (husband David), Brynn Hofer (husband Bill) and Erin Nielsen, and two grandsons, Erik Nielsen and Ken (wife April) McIntyre. She also had ten great-grandchildren: Amina, Mohammed and Zachariah Chaar, Taylor Rojo, Cash and Harley McIntyre, Will, Carter and Greyson Haught and Ellie Yocom. She is also survived by two brothers, L. James Dunn (wife Eileen) of Battle Ground, Washington and Joe Dunn (wife Terry) of Benton City, Washington, along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband Les, her parents, four sisters: Betty, Norma, Joyce and Shirley, and her two infant daughters.
Blanche will be missed and though we mourn her death, a celebration of her life will be at 11:00 a.m. on June 30, 2018, at the Bozeman United Methodist Church, 121 South Willson Ave., Bozeman, Montana.