William Howard Blankenship, 79, of Ludlow, died on Monday morning, Sept. 16, 2013, at the Warren General Hospital with his loving family singing praises by his side.
William, known to many as Bill, was born Sept. 18, 1933, to the late Orla and Carrie Morton Blankenship in Gauley Bridge, W. Va. He married his wife, Barbara Bragg, in 1952, in Gauley Bridge where the two of them began their life together. The couple made their move to Kinzua in 1959, then to Ludlow, where they finished raising their large family of 16.
As a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother, Bill's jovial and quick-witted personality kept his family and friends laughing through life. He enjoyed playing his guitar, singing gospel music with his family, watching television, especially the Pittsburgh Steelers, and working on cars.
Bill worked as a mechanic at the Pennzoil Garage and throughout his life was employed at the Kane Handle Factory, Clarendon Barrel Works, IPSCO in Sheffield and Crossett Trucking in Clarendon. He was an avid wrestling dad, watching many of his sons wrestle and place at the state tournament. He and his wife, Barb, opened their home to many foster children in the area and loved and cared for them like they were their own. After raising 15 children, the couple adopted one of their foster children, Ryan, at eight months.
In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his daughter, Beverly (Ralph) Haight of Kane; and by brothers, Hollie Eugene (Pearly) Blankenship, Arnold "Peach" (Nancy) Blankenship and Garley "Shorty" (Carolyn) Blankenship.
Surviving are his wife, Barbara Blankenship of Ludlow; sisters, Doris (James) Sparks of Augusta, Ga., Lily (Charles "Chuck") Harmon of Gauley Bridge, Kathryn (Braxton "Sunny") Clark of Richton, Miss., Linda Bor of Freemont, Ohio; and brother, John (Patricia) Blankenship of Gauley Bridge.
Surviving children include Drema Knepp of Sheffield, Bill (Renee) Blankenship of Johnsonburg, Carolyn (John) Bush of Stoneham, Terry Blankenship of Kane, Darrell (Nancy) Blankenship of Kane, Janet (Bryce) Utt of Columbus, Ohio, Larry (Jody) Blankenship of Kane, Barbara (Joe) LaBranche of New Castle, Del., Dwayne (Juanita) Blankenship of Kane, Roger (Sheila) Blankenship of Jackson, Tenn., Timothy (Jennifer) Blankenship of Kane, Steven Blankenship of Ludlow, Dennis (Connie) Blankenship of Ludlow, Tammy Mocney of Warren and Ryan Blankenship of Ludlow. Also, surviving are a brother-in-law, Jimmy Bragg, and a sister-in-law, Janie Pentheny.
Surviving grandchildren include Jolene Rutkowski, Scott Barton, Hope Klug, Jesse Blankenship, Casey Rockwell, Ashley Polinski, Keri Schaffer, Rebecca Lucas, Kevin Bush, JJ Bush, Michael Bush, Heidi Blankenship, Lindsay Blankenship, Jennifer Blankenship, Stephanie Wormsley, Amanda Blankenship, Chelle Blankenship, Caleb Utt, Zachariah Utt, David Blankenship, Mathew Blankenship, Corissa Goins, Cody Blankenship, Shyanne Blankenship, Noah Blankenship, Mackenzie Blankenship, Tasha Blankenship, Chad Blankenship, Nathanael Blankenship, Chase Blankenship, Joshua LaBranche, Shauna LaBranche, Tyler Blankenship, Brianna Blankenship,Summer Blankenship, Jonathan Blankenship, Marissa Blankenship and Chase Blankenship. Twenty-eight great grandchildren also survive.
Friends will be received at the Cummings Funeral Home, Inc. from 7-9 p.m. Thursday where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday with Pastor Leonard Eastman, of the Kane Revival Center, officiating. Burial will be at Gibbs Hill Cemetery in Ludlow.
Memorial donations may be made to the Lutheran Home at Kane, 100 High Point Dr., Kane, PA 16735.
Online condolences can be expressed at www.cummingsfh.com .