Blanche L. Durby
Blanche L. Durby, 82, rural Leland, passed away Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 at the Lutheran Retirement Home, Northwood. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 8, at West Prairie Lutheran Church, Leland, with Pastor Steve Bang officiating. A memorial visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. Friday evening, Sept. 7, at Mittelstadt Funeral Home, Lake Mills. Inurnment will take place at West Prairie Cemetery, rural Leland. Memorials can be directed to West Prairie Cemetery Fund or Lutheran Retirement Home.
Blanche Lillian (Stenersen) Durby was born near Woden, Sept. 26, 1935, the daughter of Sander and Nettie (Hanna) Stenersen. She was one of 12 children. Her siblings included: Eddie, Norman, Pearl, Robert, Vera, Palmer, Inez, Maynard, Alice, Eugene, and Sharon. Blanche graduated from Lake Mills High School in 1954.
While working at the Maid-Rite in Lake Mills, she met the love of her life, Merle Durby, and they were married Dec. 19, 1954, at West Prairie Lutheran Church near Leland. They raised five children and celebrated 63 years of marriage. Upon her marriage, Blanche became an active member of West Prairie Lutheran Church enjoying Couples Club, Ladies Aid, Circle, and served as Sunday School Treasurer for many years. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Kiester, Minn. Blanche excelled in her career as a farm housewife and mother.
Blanche enjoyed golfing, playing cards, walking with her neighbor, and traveling. California, Arizona and Laughlin, Nevada were favorite destinations for Blanche and Merle. Her birthday club events were always a high priority on her social calendar. For 27 years, summers found them at their Beaver Lake cabin in rural Ellendale, Minn. Many enjoyed their annual lake party. T
here was nothing Blanche loved more than spending time with and entertaining her family and friends. Her eight grandchildren were of special importance in her life and she cherished every moment shared with them.
In January of 2011, Blanche moved to the Lutheran Retirement Home, Northwood. She and Merle won the hearts of many of the staff at LRH, as they were frequently seen holding hands. Blanche and her family were blessed and thankful for the compassionate staff who took very good care of her. She almost always had a smile for them and for Merle during his frequent visits..
Blanche is survived by her husband, Merle; and five of her six children: Maureen (John) Sleper, Titonka; Linda (Michael) Sharp, Mitchellville; Terrell (Lisa), Leland; Darla Zrostlik, Long Grove; and Shari (Chris) Berends, Roland; eight grandchildren: Jennifer (Jacob) Etheredge, Christopher Zrostlik, Mallory (Joseph) Christopher, Jonathan Zrostlik, Joran (Jordan) Colby, Sydney (Joshua) Holmes, Ty Durby, and Grant Berends; five great-grandchildren: John, Lena, Lily, and Anna Etheredge, and August Christopher; two brothers: Maynard Stenersen and Eugene Stenersen; and two sisters: Alice Potter and Sharon Hauan.
Welcoming Blanche into heaven are her infant daughter, Nancy Pauline; her parents; four brothers; and three sisters.