BALTIMORE/STURBRIDGE — James Michael Blanchard, 49, a psychologist at the Mount Royal School in Baltimore City, passed away on May 29, after a courageous, nine-year battle with multiple myeloma.
James was born in Hartford, and grew up in Sturbridge. Following graduation from Tantasqua Regional High School, he attended American University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1991. After interning at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), he worked for the Health Industry Manufacturers’ Association (HIMA) (now AdvaMed) for nearly a decade.
James changed career course in 2000, when he pursued a degree in school psychology from George Mason University. After earning his Master’s Degree in 2002 and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in School Psychology in 2003, he relocated to Baltimore and began a 16-year career in the Baltimore City School System. It was there that he discovered his true passion: helping shape the lives of the city’s K-middle-school students. He was involved for many years in the Baltimore Teacher’s Union (BTU) and American Federation of Teachers-Maryland (AFT). With BTU he served first as an Executive Board at-large member from 2006 until 2013 and then as Treasurer from 2013 until the time of his passing. For AFT-Maryland he served as At-Large Vice President from 2012 until 2018 and then K-12 Vice President from 2018 until the time of his passing.
James enjoyed traveling and spending time with his family and close friends, including annual trips to Cape Cod and Assateague Island State Park in Maryland. He enjoyed attending flea markets and classic car shows and was an avid collector of vintage clocks. One of the trips he enjoyed most was his annual excursion to North Bay Environmental Center with students from Mount Royal.
James is survived by his parents, Charles and Mary (O’Connor) Blanchard of Sturbridge; brothers Brian of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Michael and his wife Kerry (Nurmi) of Sturbridge; a sister Kerry and her husband Damian Marotta of Brooklyn, N.Y.; a niece and nephew, Emily and Liam Blanchard, both of Sturbridge; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Receiving of Friends will be held in honor of James at Leonard Ruck Funeral Home at 5305 Harford Road, Baltimore on Saturday June 8 from 1 to 5 p.m. Services in Sturbridge will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the International Myeloma Foundation or a charity of your choice.