AUBURN — M. Blanche Lachance, 100, of Auburn, died Friday, Feb. 17, at Clover Health Care, following a short illness.
Born in Salem, Mass., Feb. 6, 1912, she was the daughter of the late Arthur and Anna Zajchowska Cameron. Her mother came here from Poland in 1905, arriving at Ellis Island on the Carpathia.
After fleeing the great Salem fire of 1914, the Cameron family moved to Danvers. Blanche was educated in Danvers schools and attended Salem Commercial School before getting a job at Standard Crayon in Danvers, where she worked for six years.
On Aug. 15, 1935, she was wed to Clifford Lachance, also of Danvers. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Maine, eventually purchasing a large parcel of land on Maple Hill and raising their family.
She was a homemaker and devoted mother to her three children. She enjoyed cooking and baking for her family with the wild blueberries that grew in the fields surrounding their home on Maple Hill. She also picked blueberries and sold them to Martin’s IGA in East Auburn. Having learned to sew at an early age, she made clothes for herself and her children, especially for her daughter and later for her two granddaughters.
She loved spending time with family and friends and enjoyed attending birthday celebrations and holiday gatherings. She was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish at St. Philip’s Church, where she sang in the choir. She worked as the housekeeper at St. Philip’s for four years in the 1970s and later did cooking for the nuns of St. Joseph’s School in Lewiston.
Blanche was an avid cribbage player and was sharp enough to figure her own score and that of her opponent faster than anyone. She was very proud of the fact that in her later years she lived alone and reached the age of 100.
She is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Gaspar and husband, Charles, of North Berwick; a son, Richard Lachance and wife, Marie, of Liverpool, N.Y.; a daughter-in-law, Betty Ann Lachance of Auburn; 10 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by a son, Roland Lachance, Nov. 6, 2011; two sisters, Eva Linnekin and Elisa Benway; and two brothers, Joseph and Edward Cameron Sr.
You are invited to share your condolences with the Lachance family by visiting their guest book at www.thefortingroupauburn.com.