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Passages: Rob Blanchard, Former Associate Dean, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture

September 22, 2010

Robert "Rob" Blanchard, former associate dean of the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and chairman of the botany and plant biology department, died Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010, at his home in Durham, with his family at his side.

Blanchard spent his early years working on the family farm with his three brothers and two sisters, acquiring a passion for life that defined his character and guided him throughout his 71 years. He served his country in the Air National Guard and received recognition as Airman of the Year.

In 1964, Blanchard graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor of science in mathematics. He received a master’s in education and a Ph.D. in mycology at the University of Georgia.

He came to work at UNH in 1972 and during his 33 years, served in various leadership roles. Blanchard published more than 39 scientific articles in professional journals and was senior author on a leading tree pathology text now in its second edition. At the time of his death he was working toward the completion of a book titled "How to Survive College." In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Blanchard worked as an adviser to countless students and student organizations, and devoted himself to the advancement of education at all levels.

In 2001, he received the UNH "Excellence in Public Service" award in recognition of his successful work toward enhancing the quality of student experience at UNH.

Blanchard retired from UNH in 2005 and turned his attention to family, his grandchildren, friends, sports, music, and social activities. He had a passion for literature, travel, and music. An avid racquetball player and fun guy, he won the NH Men's A-League Singles in 2007. In his spare time Rob provided professional services to Portsmouth-based Resource Labs and Smuttynose Brewery, where his son, Greg, works as head brewer. He was an active member of the Portsmouth Yacht Club and served in multiple leadership roles including commodore in 2007.

Blanchard is survived by his wife Ellen; his daughter, Lori, her husband, Bill, and their children Ty and Matt; his son, Greg and his wife, Kristie; and his siblings, Earl, Will, Jackie, Jeanne and Chet.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family requests that donations be sent to the Wentworth Homecare and Hospice, 113 New Rochester Road, Suite 6, Dover, NH 03820.

Visit www.kentandpelczarfh.com to sign the online guest book. Visit www.fosters.com/obits for an online guest book.

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