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Bairn Blanding

Dec. 28, 1921-April 15, 2009

Thielma J. "Bairn" Blanding, 87, of Detroit Lakes, died Wednesday, April 15, 2009 in her home, under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Thielma Jean Bairnson was born to Dr. and Mrs. George Bairnson on Dec. 28, 1921 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Following high school in Cedar Falls, she attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota in 1943 with a degree in medical bacteriology. She married Richard Blanding in 1943 and moved to his hometown of Detroit Lakes to raise a family, begin a career, and become involved in the community.

Bairn lived in Detroit Lakes for over 65 years and was involved in many social, civic, school and professional activities. She was president of the Rossman School Parent-Teacher Association, president of the Camp Fire Girls Council and a Sunday School teacher at the Congregational Church for 10 years.

She was employed at St. Mary's Hospital for 16 years, working as a medical technologist and bacteriologist. She became head of the laboratory and served as technical director of the C.W. Moberg Memorial Blood Bank.

Everyone who knew Bairn knew of her love of sports, playing tennis and golf. Accordingly she served as president of the Detroit Lakes Women's Golf Association and was chairman of the pairing and timing committee for the Pine to Palm Golf Association for 16 years. She belonged to several doll and miniature clubs, both regional and national, and was past president of the Red River Valley Doll Club.

Bairn will be greatly missed by her family and friends, including her husband of 65 years, Richard Blanding of Detroit Lakes; three daughters, Georganne Hunter (Stephen Dahl) of Duluth, Minn., Barbara (Charles) Bartholdi of Mahtomedi, Minn., and Carol Blanding (Douglas Pagels) of Boulder, Colo.; her sister, Georganne Mennin of New York, N.Y.; brother, Dr. Thomas Bairnson of Sarasota, Fla.; and by four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A celebration of her life is scheduled for Friday, May 15 at the Emmanuel Community Conference Center in Detroit Lakes from 5 to 7 p.m., with a toast to a life well lived at 5:30 p.m.

The David-Donehower Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes, is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories of Daryl may be shared online at