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“In 1951, Blanche entered my life as stepmother. As in her numerous professional achievements, Blanche equally excelled as a nuturing and supportive...Read More »
1 of 6 | Posted by: Alberta Connell Braun - Rochester, MI

“Blanche was "one of a kind" and I'm glad to have known her. She was ahead of her times in so many ways and her spirit and accomplishment will not be...Read More »
2 of 6 | Posted by: Kathy Smigielski - Geneva, IL

“Dave...That is a beautiful picture of your mother and what a wonderful way to remember her. I hope that the many fond memories of her fill your mind...Read More »
3 of 6 | Posted by: Greg Steller - Cincinnati, OH

“Aunt Blanche was a larger than life figure who was the glue that held the family together. She was a mother to my father, her youngest brother, and...Read More »
4 of 6 | Posted by: Susan Stevenson - ARLINGTON, VA

“My aunt Blanche was an amazing person. At each occasion our paths crossed I was older, but she (mysteriously) stayed the same. I've heard her play...Read More »
5 of 6 | Posted by: William Dingee Jr. - Valparaiso, IN

“She lived a very long life and has a wonderful son to carry on. ”
6 of 6 | Posted by: Buzz Bainbridge - Minneapolis, MN


Connell, Blanche (nee Gertrude Blanche Agnes Cecilia Dingee) of Cincinnati, Ohio died peacefully in her sleep Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 at the age of 100. Blanche was born in Philadelphia, PA, February 23rd, 1915 and lived briefly in New Jersey, Cincinnati, and Chicago before her family settled in Detroit in 1925. Blanche worked throughout her life into her 70s; first in secretarial positions at Fruehauf Trailer in Minneapolis and at General Motors Truck and Coach in Pontiac, MI. After working as a medical secretary at Pontiac General Hospital, she served as Assistant to the Director of Purchasing and was promoted to Purchasing Director in 1960. Blanche was an innovator as one of the few female purchasing directors in the nation. She moved the hospital's entire inventory system to computer in 1961, then proudly created the most diverse purchasing team possible in racially conflicted Pontiac of the 1960s. She became the first female President of the Greater Detroit Council of Hospital Purchasing Agents; the first female Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association of Hospital Purchasing Agents, and was the founder of the first major hospital vendor tradeshow in the greater Detroit area. To recognize Blanche's professional achievements, Southeastern Michigan Hospital Purchasing Management, Inc. honored her by establishing the Blanche Connell Scholarship at Central Michigan University in 1988. Following her years with Pontiac General Hospital, Blanche moved to Florida where she became an award winning office manager for Kelly Services, Inc. in both Tampa and Daytona Beach. Blanche loved playing piano, singing, dancing, traveling, playing bridge, and discussing politics. She is survived by her son David (Patricia) Curry, her granddaughters Lauren Curry (San Anselmo, CA); Olivia Curry (Chicago, IL) and Monica Curry (Ann Arbor, MI), and her great grandson Leo David Marshall (Lauren Curry and Scott Marshall); two brothers David Dingee of The Villages in Florida and Bill Dingee of Bellingham, Washington and many nieces and nephews. Blanche was divorced from husbands David J. Curry Sr. and Eugene D. Connell. Throughout her life, Blanche always found a way to help hard-working individuals whose potential and talents were not necessarily recognized by formal systems. At her request, private family services will be held. For those wishing to honor Blanche and her memory, please consider a contribution to: Blanche Connell Scholarship: http://go.cmualum.com/BlancheConnellScholarship, United Negro College Fund: http://www.uncf.org, or Queen City Hospice: http://www.queencityhospice.com . Condolences may be expressed at www.tpwhite.com