Sharon Blanding

After a very good, fulfilling life, Sharon Lynn Blanding passed away peacefully at home with her sister, Theresa Blanding, at her side supporting her transition after a colorful and courageous life. Her good friend Fred Fisher of 20+ years was a tremendous support during the last months of her life. They’d kayaked, camped and explored together. Plus, they worked on quite a few real estate projects together and Sharon was sure she wouldn’t have realized as much success in real estate without his help. Purchasing real estate was just the first step, as she really got into doing her own remodeling—plumbing, electrical, painting, etc. Less of this work as she got older, but accomplished a lot when she was younger.

Sharon was so fortunate to have had some of the best parents in the world. Receiving genuine, true unconditional love while she was growing up, she was a major league hell-raiser and didn’t make it easy on them. Their love made her quite fearless in going after anything she wanted, and that has been reflected in her life.

She was an avid Sailor taking a trip to Tahiti in a small gorgeous wooden boat with one other person. She was the navigator using only celestial navigation. Thirty days at sea between Cabo San Lucas MX and 1st land fall. After a really, really bad storm at dawn, they just about crashed into the atoll surrounding Marlon Brando’s Island. She bareboated numerous times in the Bahamas, plus flew to Tahiti for a bareboating trip (meaning taking an empty boat, supplying it and then captaining it). She loved snorkeling and taking underwater pics. She owned two sailboats in San Diego and did lots of sailing around Puget Sound.

She was an excellent Civil Engineer and did quite well in the field. Generally, when she was introduced to a new client they would frown and say “a woman?” But in short order they came to respect her work as much as or more than any male project manager. This was at a time when women engineers were few and far between.

Publishing two books, one business and one in science, she was also published in Sports Afield and many times in Airport Services mag. She took 500 copies of her acquisition book from the publisher and called on businesses in the area. “Hey, I’ll drop off this book for you to look at. You like it, send me $25 and it’s yours. Don’t like it–call me and I’ll come back and get it.” She only received one book back. Her boomerang science/sports book was put out in both hardcover and paperback.

Sharon spent many, many miles RVing around the western states, 99% boondocking in the woods, next to lakes, streams etc. with hardly ever using a regular camping/RV spot. Lots of trips from Texas to Colorado to Washington with all paths explored around and between. For a year or so she pulled her mother’s small trailer behind her (huge) Ford 350 truck with a 10′ camper on it. They traveled from Washington to Texas and then went west to California and then back to Texas. That time with her mother was special and meant a lot to Sharon. She actually lived full-time in an RV for quite a few years. Always accompanied by her wonderful dogs, who she definitely made a member of her family, they loved the trips!

She traded with an air traffic controller friend in San Diego, telling him that she’d teach him to sail if he’d teach her to fly. Although she stopped short of just getting her license, she flew often above Puget Sound in Washington in a small plane where there are some of the most phenomenal views in the world. Plus she always enjoyed the helicopter rides while making brochures for engineering firms in Seattle.

Sharon was also website designer/jewelry seller. It didn’t make a lot of money, but she loved doing it, especially the hunt for vintage jewelry. She believed that there wasn’t anything better than a good estate sale. Gaining a tremendous amount of knowledge on vintage jewelry, she shared it with the world on her website.

An artist/painter who considered herself a dabbler, yet one of her paintings was stolen at an art show in San Diego, so it must have been good! She had her own kiln for a while and really enjoyed making pottery. Working as a stockbroker for a while in Seattle, she loved tracking stocks after that and did her own investing for a long while. Politically, she was a libertarian. That says it all.

Sharon had a fabulous job working for a public defender, Peter Craven, in Glenwood Springs. (They worked 5 counties, so were very, very busy.) In Sharon’s opinion, he was better than Perry Mason! When he went private, she became his private investigator. This was one of the greatest jobs she ever had with lots of murder, mayhem and drugs. Peter went on to become a judge.

Life in these scientific degrees was worse back then as she was the only woman in her engineering classes. Her schooling ended at UC San Diego when she was working on a Bioengineering degree. She quit right before the last semester of her senior year, as she had it with the academic people, lifestyle, and attitude she encountered there. She never looked back.

She is survived by her sister Theresa, her son Heath Rogers, his lovely wife Suzanne, and five wonderful grandchildren. Her generous, fierce, and upbeat spirit will be sorely missed by her family and all the friends that she’s made during all of these adventuresome years.


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