Blanche R. Molony passed away peacefully from natural causes on August 4, 2015 at Bethany on University, Fargo, ND. She was surrounded and cared for by many family and friends. She was 99 years old.
The second of two daughters, Blanche was born on October 21, 1915, to Eman and Anna (Smetak) Novotny in Valparaiso, Nebraska. Excellent farm land brought the family to Oakes, ND, and Blanche spent her formative years on the family farm.
Learning was a passion of Blanche’s that began early in her life. Although it was during the heart of the Great Depression, Eman and Anna sent Blanche to Valley City, ND to provide a high school education for their daughter. Blanche later obtained her teaching certificate in Valley City and studied violin performance at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, MN. At the age of 50, she went back to school and obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Moorhead State University. Blanche shared her passion for learning with the many students she taught. Her influence as a teacher in music and elementary school spread throughout many cities: Hurdsfield, Tower City, and West Fargo, ND; Oklee, Clontarf, Donnelly, and Chokio, MN.
In 1941, while teaching in Oklee, Blanche was selling tickets to a high school basketball game when she met the handsome Coca-Cola delivery man, James “Leo” Molony. On November 20, 1941, the two married in Stirum, ND. Three weeks later, Pearl Harbor was bombed. Leo entered the Army, and the pair moved to San Francisco, CA, where Blanche worked at the Federal Reserve Bank in the Bond Redemption Department. After Leo was honorably discharged, Blanche and Leo moved to Leo’s home town, Clontarf, MN, followed by Devils Lake, ND, and many years in Morris, MN.
Blanche and Leo moved to Fargo in 1962 and soon became well-known members of Fargo’s business community. Blanche was a strong support to her husband as he built the Stop-N-Go convenience stores, which he managed and operated until 1985. Following that, the Molonys opened and operated the Food-N-Fuel franchise in the greater Fargo-Moorhead region.
Blanche and Leo were truly devoted to each other, their family, and their Catholic Faith. They were long time members of Nativity parish.
Avid travelers, Blanche and Leo visited many states in the United States and many countries in Europe, including Leo’s family’s homeland of Ireland and Blanche’s of Czechoslovakia. Leo passed away in 1995.
After Leo’s death, Blanche continued to travel to many places, a favorite of which was Alaska. She enjoyed several other hobbies, including gardening. She was a talented “green thumb” and could grow plants that many others couldn’t.
Blanche was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Leo Molony, her parents, Eman and Anna Novotny, and her sister Anna (Edward) Kliment, Rochester, MN. She is survived by her deeply grieving children: Janet Scott, St. Cloud, MN; Alice (Edward) Bird, Coon Rapids, MN; Michael (Connie), Fargo; grandchildren: Randy (Teresa) Salvati, Sandy (Edward) Martinez: Kevin Molony, Ryan (Alison) Molony, Steven (Courtney) Molony; Rebecca (Andrew) Wolf; great-grandchildren: Christopher Salvati; Appalonia Martinez; Elizabeth Wolf; great-great-grandchildren: Madison and Anthony Salvati.
Please join us in celebrating Blanche’s life at Nativity Catholic Church, Fargo, ND, on Tuesday, August 11, with visitation beginning at 5:00 p.m. and vigil to follow at 7:00 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Nativity Catholic Church, Fargo, ND, on Wednesday, August 12, at 10:30 a.m., with a visitation one hour prior. Luncheon will be served. Interment will follow at Riverside Cemetery.
Memorials preferred to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception or to the Hospice of the Red River Valley.