Cora Jane Blanchard, of Edina, Minn., who served as the chairman of the USGA Women’s Committee in 2001 and 2002, died on Nov. 22 at the age of 81.
According to the obituary in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Blanchard, known to many as CJ, died peacefully at home.
Blanchard also captained the USA’s Women’s World Amateur Team at the 2004 championship in Puerto Rico, where the trio of Paula Creamer, Jane Park and Sarah Huarte finished second, three strokes behind Sweden.
“She was just a wonderful person,” said Mary Capouch, who preceded Blanchard as the Women’s Committee chairman and worked closely with her at several USGA championships. “She was kind, respectful, had a quiet strength, a twinkle in her eye and was a loyal friend to many. She truly gave of herself in her volunteer endeavors for golf.”
Blanchard, who in 2002 became the first Rules consultant for the Minnesota Women’s Golf Association, first became involved with the USGA as a member of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship Committee in 1980. She later chaired that committee from 1991-98.
Blanchard joined the Women’s Committee in 1987 and served as vice chairman under Capouch before becoming chairman in 2001. She also served on the USGA Public Golf and Sectional Affairs committees, and worked more than 15 U.S. Women’s Opens as a Rules official. After leaving the Women’s Committee, she remained involved in the game as a volunteer with the Minnesota Golf Association.
In 2002, the Minnesota Golf Association honored her with its Warren J. Rebholz Distinguished Service Award. In 2003, Blanchard was inducted into the Minnesota Golf Hall of Fame.
Blanchard leaves her husband, Jim, son Sam Blanchard, daughters Diana Wright and Elizabeth Fischer, five grandchildren and one great-grandson. A memorial service is scheduled for Dec. 3 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Edina.
David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.