ERWIN — Joseph Blankenship, age 84, 600 Blankenship Lane, Erwin, died peacefully Wednesday, September 21, 2011, at 2:58 A.M. at the Johnson City Medical Center Hospital.
He was a native of Flag Pond, TN, and a son of the late C.L. and Eugenia Crain Blankenship.
Mr. Blankenship was employed by Chrysler Corporation for 5½ years and then spent 30 years in heavy repair with General Motors until his retirement in Michigan and return to Erwin in 1988. He was a Member of Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church, where he also enjoyed participating in the Forever Young Senior Group.
His pastimes included viewing local wildlife, and mowing on his John Deere tractor. He was an avid car collector and had many original models in his collection. “Mr. Joe” loved to have people over for swimming and fellowship.
Other than his parents Mr. Blankenship was preceded in death by his son, William Edward “Ed” Blankenship; one grandson, Michael David Gossman Jr.; two brothers: Paul Blankenship and Homer Blankenship; three sisters: Elva Blankenship and twins Fannie Fender and infant Grace Blankenship.
Mr. Blankenship is survived by two sons: Joseph Michael Blankenship and James David Blankenship and wife, Susan, all of Warren MI; three daughters: Linda Lou Bittner, Warren, MI, Debra Jenkins and husband, Rob, Sterling Heights, MI, Ruth Rogers and husband, Glenn, Warren MI; one “claimed’’ Daughter, Donna Jean Wilson, Mills River, NC; two brothers: Dallas Blankenship, Florida, and Hurshel ‘’Bud’’ Blankenship, Erwin; four sisters: Nola Johnson and Doris Ann Butler, both of Johnson City, Glenna Crain, Erwin, Patsy Church, Florida; two sisters-in-law: Lois Blankenship and Charlotte Blankenship. Mr Blankenship will be fondly remembered by 11 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral service for Mr. Blankenship will be held at 12:00 Noon Saturday, September 24, 2011, from the Evergreen Free Will Baptist Church, Erwin. Reverend Billy Bevins will officiate.
Interment will follow in the Upper Higgins Creek Cemetery, Flag Pond. Pallbearers will be David Lingerfelt, Rob Jenkins, Robbie Jenkins, Dallas Blankenship, Dallas Blankenship Jr., Wayne Blankenship, Chris Gilbert and Jessee Hensley. The body will be placed in the church one hour prior to the service.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 P. M. to 7:00 P.M. Friday at the funeral home.
Online condolences and memories may be shared with the Blankenship family at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Ledford Funeral Home, 720 Ohio Avenue, Erwin, is in charge of the arrangements. 423-743-1380