In loving memory of Lois Jane Blondeau (Kratsch), PhD
(May 30, 1934 – January 18, 2020)
Lois was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on May 30, 1934. She was the eldest child of Henry and Emma Kratsch, and the beloved older sister of Janet (Jan) Falcon and Don Kratsch (deceased).
Lois was the steady leading light for her sister and brother in all things during childhood. She was an accomplished student and engaged lake enthusiast. She took pride in being the lead canoeing counselor at the local summer camp, as well as being a strong swimmer and water skier.
Lois was a trailblazer, enrolling at the University of Colorado in Boulder for engineering. She traveled to college on a train, with the Feather Light Singer sewing machine (received as a college parting gift) in tow. While at CU, she was one of the few women in advanced math and physics classes. After some time at CU she realized she was more interested in attending school closer to home. Returning to Wisconsin, she finished dual bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics at the University of Wisconsin ... one of very few women in that program. She met and married William Gilchrist and had her first two children, William (Bill) Hugh and Vicki Lee. She resolved to stay home to raise her children, but that union then ended. She later married the love of her life ... Ernest Eugene (Gene) Blondeau, Jr., on February 7, 1959. Gene legally adopted both of her children as his own, thus forming the foundation of the Blondeau family.
Gene and Lois had two sons together, James (Jim) Bryan and Randall (Randy) Warren. The family lived in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, and Arizona over the years as Gene pursued a variety of educational and career opportunities. Once the family was settled in Phoenix, AZ, Lois began substitute teaching and then transitioned to a full-time teaching position at Shadow Mountain High School in Paradise Valley, AZ. She soon returned to school at Arizona State University to earn her master’s degree and PhD in Education, while working full-time as high school teacher and mom. Gene and Lois moved to Tucson, AZ in the early 90’s, where she worked at University High School for 17 years before retiring at the age of 73.
Dr. Blondeau was beloved by everyone who met her. She was kind, friendly, supportive and smart ... all the best attributes of a natural born teacher. She was proud to be named most influential teacher by seven Flynn Scholar awardees. Additionally, Dr. Blondeau was recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in 1992, and Math/Science Teacher of the Year for the State of Arizona in 2001. Additionally, the UHS Envirothon team won the national championship and rookie team of the year awards in the same year under her guidance. This recognition by her students and peers highlights the positive impact she had on the students she cared so much about.
Lois loved antique shopping with her daughter, Vicki, reminiscing about her childhood home in Oshkosh, going on family trips, and her lovely southwestern style home with its beautiful views of Bear Canyon. She spoke fondly of her many amazing students, and took great pride in her children and grandchildren. She did not have an unkind word to say about anyone. She looked for the best in people and found it.
Lois was loving, always quick with a compliment, and we loved her so very much. She is survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Jan and Glen Falcon; sister-in-law Sue Kratsch; son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Shelley Blondeau; her son and daughter-in-law, Jim Blondeau and Debi Burton; her son and daughter-in-law, Randy and Donna Blondeau; her grandchildren, Anna Thompson, Emma Quarnstrom, Sonja Blondeau-Heglin, Bryan Blondeau, Daniel Blondeau, Luc Blondeau and Merrick Blondeau; her great grandchildren, Lily and Logan Thompson; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the American Cancer Society or to the charity of your choice in Lois Blondeau’s name. Please leave remembrances, condolences and photos at www.adairfuneralhomes.com
A joint memorial service for Lois Jane Blondeau and her husband, Dr. Ernest Eugene Blondeau, Jr. at the Dodge Chapel this Saturday, February 29th from 10am-12pm.