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Eugene R. Blanchard III

NATCHEZ — Funeral services for Eugene R. Blanchard, 85, who died Friday, March 22, 2013, at Natchez Regional Medical Center, will be 1 p.m. Monday at St. Mary Basilica with the Rev. David O’Connor officiating at a Mass of the Resurrection.

Burial will follow in the Natchez City Cemetery in the family plot under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation will be 11:30 a.m. Monday until time of services at St. Mary Basilica.

Mr. Blanchard was born Sept. 19, 1927 in Birmingham, Ala., the son of Eugene Roderick Blanchard II and Myrtle Reece.

He graduated from the Boy’s Life School in Atlanta and attended the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University in Cincinnati.

On Nov. 3, 1952 he married Edwina Zurhellen Junkin, who preceded him in death.

He was a member of St. Mary Basilica, where he served on the liturgy commission. He was a member of the Historic Natchez Foundation and the Santa Claus Committee. He was honored to be Santa Claus in 1978. He was also an active member of the local Civil Service Commission for several years.

In 1990, he retired from St. Catherine Gravel Company, where he was employed for 40 years. Upon his retirement, he was an ambassador for the City of Natchez.

Survivors include one daughter, Dr. Bertha Junkin Blanchard of Santa Fe, N.M.; one son, Eugene Roderick “Rod” Blanchard IV of Natchez; three grandchildren, Rebekiah, Quint and Patrick Blanchard, and one great-grandchild, Adalyn Blanchard.

Pallbearers will be Patrick Blanchard, Quint Blanchard, Preston Edwards, Stephen Edwards, Glenn Foley, Justin Johnson, Owen Junkin and Colin Seibert.

Honorary pallbearers will be John Bellan Jr., Chip Blanchard, Ray Carter, Richard Durkin, Duke Edwards, Gary Edwards, Edward Eidt, Dick Junkin, John R. Junkin III and J.W. Seibert.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Ed Daly, Dr. Brad LeMay and the staff of Natchez Regional Medical Center for their professional care.

Memorials may be sent to St. Mary Basilica or the charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be made to www.lairdfh.com.