COLUMBIA — During World War II, Blanche Grace Argent wore the standard uniform of Rosie the Riveter — coveralls and her hair tied back in a bandanna. She worked in a factory to support the wartime efforts.
"It was that generation. She was very hardworking, very dedicated, very patriotic," her daughter Pamela Lindsey said.
Even with the war over, she held on to those same beliefs for the rest of her life, Lindsey said.
"She always had her hand over her heart when pledging to the flag when we went to a baseball game," Lindsey said. "She would be the one bellowing any of the songs."
Blanche Grace Argent of Ashland died Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. She was 89.
She was born Feb. 28, 1924, to Edward and Myrtle (Kopp) Long in Huron, S.D.
Even though she didn't talk much about it, she was very proud of her part-Sioux Indian heritage, Lindsey said.
When her mother died in childbirth, her aunt took her in and raised her as a part of her own family of eight. With her older brothers working on the farm, Ms. Argent was the only one in her family at the time who was able to graduate from eighth grade.
"Her mother had been a school teacher on one of the Indian reservations in South Dakota, and that was one of the stories mom always told us," Lindsey said. "She was proud she graduated because her mom wasn't there."
After she graduated from eighth grade, she said she went out on her own, Lindsey said.
She first moved to Missouri in 1963. Before that, she lived in California, Wyoming, Georgia, Alabama and Michigan. No matter where she was stationed with her family, she volunteered as an American Red Cross member in military hospitals and also at base youth centers.
In 1964, she married Marion R. Argent, who was a master sergeant in the Air Force. Marion Argent died in November 1975.
She was a lifetime member and former president of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5517, for which she gained national recognition and awards. In tribute to her husband, Marion Argent, she donated property for the relocation of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5517 of the Winfield/Old Monroe area.
Lindsey described her mother as a very progressive woman, who, after moving to Missouri, turned the service station of Winfield, Mo., into the town's first restaurant and liquor store.
"She bought it, and she kind of turned it around and made it a pretty popular place," Lindsey said.
She named the restaurant The Cozy Corner, but it was informally known as Blanche and Earl's, after her and her significant other of 20 years, Earl Lindner, Lindsey said.
"She never did (get a further education), but she was so proud of that because she was a very successful businesswoman," Lindsey said.
Ms. Argent loved to bowl, dance, travel and spend time with her family. After her retirement, she and Lindner traveled to Europe and Hawaii. She loved to spend time in a cabin by the Mississippi River with family and friends. For the last 15 years, she spent nine months of the year in Apache Junction, Ariz.
"You would love my mother," Lindsey said. "She was a very fun woman."
She is survived by her son, retired Army Lt. Col. Sheldon John Gerron of Kennedale, Texas; daughters Jackie Singh of Rockford, Ill., and Pamela Lindsey of Ashland; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Her husband, Marion Argent; her parents; and her three older brothers, Frank, Ray, and Harry, died earlier.
Memorial services will be held Sunday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Parker Funeral Service & Crematory, 22 N. Tenth St. Graveside services will be at 10:45 a.m. on Monday at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Road, in St. Louis.
Contributions may be made in Mrs. Argent's name to either the Wounded Warrior Project or local Honor Flight organizations.
Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.