Original Release: 10/28/2019
Dr. Charles Blanchard has built a life of wide-ranging accomplishments. Though Brush High did not have a swimming team in 1960 and he did not swim competitively, he arrived at the University of Notre Dame and made the swimming team. (Swimming was important to his family. His father was a volunteer Red Cross swimming instructor for many years.) Charles set records, was the captain of the team in 1963-64, and was named MVP twice. In 1965 Notre Dame established the Charles W. Blanchard Award for the swimmer who demonstrates top team leadership.
After completing his B.A. at the University of Notre Dame in 1964, he earned an MBA at The Ohio State University in 1967. As he was finishing that degree, he got an Army draft notice and enlisted in the Navy. He attended Officer Training School in 1967 and then served aboard the USS Ramsey DEG-2 for two tours of duty in the Viet Nam combat zone. He left active duty with the rank of Lieutenant and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for "Meritorious Service."
Charles worked for the Continental Can Company and eventually became the General Manager of the CCC Corrugated Plant in Detroit, Michigan. He then turned his interest to running and ran a series of marathons including those in Detroit, Boston, and Dallas. In 1979, Charles become an entrepreneur and opened Total Runner, two retail stores in suburban Detroit, which specialized in athletic shoes and promoted running. An accomplished marathon runner, he moved on to triathlons. The first triathlon was held in Honolulu in 1978. The competition was called the Ironman Triathlon and beginning in 1982, Charles finished four of them in Hawaii and won two Masters (over 40) Championships.
In 1988, he was involved in a promotional triathlon, which was tied to the Detroit Tigers and benefited the Henry Ford Children's Hospital in Detroit. Charles was to carry a baseball around the state, which would be used for the opening pitch of the Tigers' season. Also in 1988, he was inducted into the Brush Sports Hall of Fame.
It was time for Charles to change careers. He decided to become a psychologist and enrolled in graduate school at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, served a one-year internship at Illinois State University, and returned to New Mexico, where he was licensed in 1995. While earning his doctorate, Charles took up golf. He worked with golfers at New Mexico State University as a sport psychologist. Later, he became a performance psychologist for the whole athletic department.
Charles became friends with PGA Professional and Hall of Fame Golf Coach Herb Wimberly. They organized the Performance Golf Schools and for fifteen years offered amateur golfers weekend courses to improve their skills. In 2005, Charles began writing columns about golf that appeared in two New Mexico newspapers. So far he has published about seven hundred articles and has been given the nickname of "Dr. Golf."
As a clinical psychologist, Charles specialized in clinical geriatric mental assessments. He "focused on Alzheimer's, decisional capacity and aging disorders, as well as treatment for behavioral disorders with seniors, mostly in long term care facilities and hospitals" in New Mexico. Charles served as the chief psychologist at Ft. Bayard Medical Center, a state hospital, from 1998-2004. He was also a clinical consultant at the Mescalero Indian Reservation for three years.
Currently, Charles is maintaining his interest in golf and doing "long distance" traveling with his wife, Suzanne, and his sons, Todd and Neal.