Blanche Eleanor Hawkins was born Christmas Day, 1921, on the family farm in Elgin Township, rural Le Mars, the daughter of Albert and Annie (Zimmerman) Hawkins. Blanche attended country grade school and graduated from Le Mars Central High School in 1939.
She attended Western Union College (later Westmar) and taught in rural schools in Plymouth County for six years and one year in Primghar Elementary School.
On June 25, 1952, she married Robert Charles Dennler at the Seney United Methodist Church.
The couple lived in Le Mars before moving to the Dennler family farm south of Merrill where they farmed until their retirement in 1979. She helped her husband with the farming and caring for 1,000 laying hens, as well as cattle and hogs. They were members of the Melbourne United Methodist Church.
Blanche enjoyed reading, and spending time with her family, especially the grandchildren, and her friends.
She loved music and played the piano for her enjoyment. She also liked to bake cookies for her family. She had a special knack for calming and caring for babies.
Survivors include two daughters: Susan Leonard and her husband, Mark of Merrill; and Peggy Smith and her husband, Allan of rural Merrill; four grandchildren: Casey and Sam Leonard, and Nate Smith and Janora Korver; a brother: David Hawkins and his wife, Judy of rural Orange City; a step-sister: Jean Gritzmaker of Le Mars, and many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert; a brother, Richard Hawkins and his wife, Jean; an infant brother, Albert Wayne Hawkins; and one great-niece, Samantha Hawkins.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Melbourne United Methodist Church, rural Merrill. The Rev. Neva Thorn-Perdue will officiate. Burial will follow in Hillside Cemetery in Merrill. Visitation will be after 4 p.m. Tuesday, with the family present after 6 p.m., and prayer service at 7 p.m., all at Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the service Wednesday at the church.
Casketbearers will be Sam Leonard, Nate Smith, Roger Hawkins, Curt Hawkins, Louis Westhoff, and Tim Lang.
Honorary casketbearers will be Casey Leonard, Janora Korver, Alberta Smith, and Margaret Spies.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.