Former COPRI President James Blanchar, 42-Year Army Corps Engineer, Dies


Capt. James H. Blanchar, P.E., D.NE, F.ASCE, a Navy veteran and longtime U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leader whose devotion to ASCE’s Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute included a year as president, has died at 77.

Blanchar served as COPRI president from 2007-2008. He remained active in COPRI until his death, serving on its Waterways Committee since 1999 and chairing it in 1999-2000.

The Kentucky native earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at the University of Louisville. He and his wife, Beryl, met as teenagers in Louisville, but together they spent their 56 years of marriage often far away from their hometown. Blanchar’s Navy service – both active and then as an officer in the Reserves – and 42 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers took the couple throughout the world, including stints in the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia. The lifestyle suited the Blanchars’ love of travel.

Blanchar retired from the Corps in 2002 as chief of operations for the Rock Island District, and the couple had moved recently to Peachtree, GA.

Survivors also include children Lisa Blanchar and Jill Blanchar, and grandchildren Martin Hoppe, Laurel Enstrom, and Porter Enstrom.

He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.


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