He was also a dedicated and honored U.S. Navy submariner, highly regarded by his superiors and appreciated by his junior sailors as a mentor who helped them to advance in their Navy careers.
He spent 31 years in the Navy, having joined the U.S. Navy submarine reserves in Portsmouth, NH, while still a senior at Somersworth High School, class of 1961. Upon graduation he spent 30 years on active duty being successively promoted, the last ten years as the Command Master Chief of several commands. He received many awards, including: 2 National Defense Service Medals; Armed Forces Expeditionary medal; Vietnam Service Medal; Vietnam Campaign Medal; two Navy "E" ribbons; two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons; Navy Achievement Medal; ELK 13 Award; Navy Expeditionary Medal; two Meritorious Unit Commendations; Navy & Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal; and Good Conduct Awards for his entire Navy career.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, his high school sweetheart, Dr. Patricia A. (Lanoie) Blanchette (Holy Rosary High School, class of 1962), their children, Dr Misty Blanchette Porter (husband Tom Porter), David Gerard Blanchette (wife Natasha Blanchette), and William "Billy" Blanchette (wife Kendra), and grandchildren. Grandchildren include: Arianna, Joseph and Maxwell Porter; Jacqueline and Emma Blanchette; Grace, Kate, and William Blanchette, and Alyssa Ward.
A military honors funeral is being planned in November, 2021, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.
If desired, donations in his honor could be made to the University of Hawaii Foundation, Geriatric Education and Research Fund #126-6070-4, 1314 So. King St, Suite B, Honolulu, HI 96814.
Arrangements Provided By:
DIAMOND HEAD MORTUARY