Hartford Seminary Mourns the Passing of the Rev. Jean Blanning

Hartford Seminary was saddened to learn of the passing of the Rev. Jean M. Blanning, who served as a writing consultant at Hartford Seminary for several years, ending in 2014. She was 91.

A memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. at Asylum Hill Congregational Church.

Here is her obituary.

Rev. Jean M. Blanning, a former associate pastor of parish life at First Church of Christ, U.C.C., Simsbury, died on November 22, 2019 at her home at The McAuley retirement village in West Hartford, CT. She was 91.

Before her position at Simsbury’s First Church, the Rev. Blanning, a 1950 graduate of Connecticut College, a graduate of State University of New York-Albany with a master’s degree in history, and a 1954 graduate of Yale Divinity School, served as Campus Minister/Executive Director of the Greater Hartford Campus Ministry. In that position, she worked with Greater Hartford Community College, Hartford College for Women and the University of Hartford.

She was also a writing consultant at Hartford Seminary and a volunteer with the Education Task Force for the Interfaith Coalition for Equity and Justice and a reader for pre-schoolers at the School for Young Children on Asylum Hill (SYCAH). She was active in a book club, the Saturday Morning Club of Hartford, church adult education classes and various Yale activities.

Before her work in the ministry and her move to the Hartford area in 1978, the Rev. Blanning was a teacher in the New Haven area, serving for many years with the Hamden-New Haven Cooperative Education Center as a social studies coordinator and adviser for gifted students at Hillhouse High School.
Before moving to Connecticut, she and her family lived in Cambridge, Mass., where she worked for a number of years as a research associate at Harvard Divinity School.

The Rev. Blanning was a published author, writing for a number of educational journals and publications focused on gifted and talented education.

Her passions included politics, women’s issues and social justice causes and reading on a range of subjects, and she found great joy in her circle of friends and family and spending summers at her family’s home on Cape Cod. Friends noted her joie de vivre, her insatiable curiosity and energy, her genuine interest in their lives and her delight in lively conversation.

She was pre-deceased by her husband, Rev. James R. Blanning, and her daughter, Wendy. She is survived by her son, William, of Corona del Mar, CA, daughter-in-law Kathleen, and grandchildren, Alex and his wife, Nita, of Washington, D.C., and Allison, of Kent, CT.

A memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. at Asylum Hill Congregational Church. Donations in her memory can be made to the Wendy E. Blanning Summer Fellowship at Yale by sending a check payable with Wendy E. Blanning Summer Fellowship in the memo line to: Yale University, Office of Development, Contribution Processing, P.O. Box 2038, New Haven, CT, 06521-2038. Or go to www.giving.yale.edu and select Make Your Gift Now, then Support Other Areas, and Other and type in Wendy E. Blanning Summer Fellowship (designation number 25125) when asked to specify area of support. Taylor & Modeen Funeral Home, West Hartford has care of arrangements. For online condolences please visit www.taylorandmodeen.com

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