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  The Rev. Robert D. Blanpied

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The Rev. Robert D. Blanpied, 80, who served as hospital chaplain at Mercy Medical Center from 1979 to 1993, died on Sunday, Oct. 5, 2003, in Ogden, Utah. He died of natural causes, said his friend, Diana Hanebrink.

The Rev. Blanpied was born on Jan. 16, 1923, in Leavenworth, Kan., the son of Kathryn (Johnstone) Blanpied and Kenneth M. Blanpied.

He attended St. John's Military Academy and Kenrick Seminary and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of Wichita, Kan., on April 6, 1948.

In 1969, he moved to the Diocese of Pueblo and in 1979 to Durango. In 1998, he was feted on his retirement from St. Columba Catholic Church for his 50 years in the priesthood.

He is survived by cousins and many friends.

"He was a delight," his friend Diana Hanebrink said. "He was always joking. Always looking on the bright side of things. But that's how I saw him. I'm sure the people in the hospital saw his compassion and strength and help in their time of need."

"We knew Bob as a wonderful cook, a gifted painter, a compassionate and dear friend. We will miss him very much," said Bev Darmour, who also spoke for her husband, the Rev. Mike Darmour. The Rev. Darmour served as a Mercy Medical Center chaplain with the Rev. Blanpeid, and the two men started the tradition of a community Thanksgiving dinner, which serves hundreds of people every year.

A memorial mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Columba Catholic Church, where the Rev. Blanpied served.

The Rev. Blanpied acknowledged sexually abusing a boy in the 1960s when he was a priest in Wichita, Kan., according to stories inThe Wichita Eagle. Wendell E. Gravley filed a $5 million lawsuit against Blanpied and the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. Gravley's lawsuit was found to have exceeded a statute of limitations.

 
 

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