Jack R. Blankenship, age 96, of Fall River, Kansas, died Thursday, May 28, 2020, at Via Christi St Francis, Wichita Kansas. Jack was born on February 15, 1924, in Wichita, Kansas the son of Claude and Alta (Robinson) Blankenship. Jack took his first and last breath at St. Francis Hospital.
On November 29, 1959, in Wichita, Kansas Jack married Helen Wolford (Thowe) and was married for 51 years, until the death of Helen in 2011.
Jack worked for a short time at Cessna Aircraft company where he met his love Helen Wolford and they were married in Wichita. Jack grew up in Fall River with his parents and they had a local gas station and farm where they sold eggs, at the local train station and Jack worked as a paperboy saving his money to buy his first clarinet. Jack had a love of music by learning to play the piano, trumpet, and clarinet. Jack also had the love of farming the ground, raising cattle, raising swine, and chickens. He was very talented in making equipment from welding and manufacturing almost anything that he needed on the farm. Jack taught his children how to make automobile repairs and using resources that were available on the farm. If there was a "way", he would find a way to fix almost anything. Jack also had the love of flying; he was a licensed pilot that used his plane for mostly pleasure. He introduced all of his children to flying. Jack always loved to g on family vacations every summer. After the wheat harvest was done, it was time to go on vacation. He had the love of Colorado, but the majority of the vacations were always educational, museums, historical, always teaching his children. He always loved riding his motorcycles and sometimes he would take his motorcycle on vacations to go up trails that were only traveled by motorcycles. Jack was an advent woodworker as well. He made his own lathe and made several wood projects with all of his children.
Jack was an active member and board member of the Fall River United Methodist Church throughout his entire life. He was a back-up pianist for the church and played on multiple occasions.
When not working on the farm or taking care of his family and home, Jack was active with the Fall River City Council, Fall River 4-H Club, Fall River Booster Club, Fall River over 55ers Club, Grand Masonic Lodge of Fall River and now at Neodesha, Fredonia Promenade Square Dancing Club of Fredonia, Kansas, Do-Si-Do Square Dancing Club of Chanute Kansas, and the Square Stoppers Square Dancing Club of Independence, Kansas.
Jack is survived by his four children, Jackie Hale and husband Ronald of Liberty, KS and Kim Blankenship and wife Joleen of Valley Center, KS and Eric Blankenship and wife Marie of Carbondale, KS and Melody Billings and husband Ronald of Fall River, KS and sister-in-law Grace Hansen of Illinois. 32 Grandchildren and 14 Great Grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, his parents Claude and Alta Blankenship; his sister Valasta and baby brother, sons David Wolford and Alex Blankenship, his in-laws Arthur and Esther Socha, Susan and Ralph Thowe and Carl Hanser.
Funeral services will be held Monday, June 8th, 2020 at 10:00 AM at the Christ Church of Neodesha, KS. with Pastor Susan Galvan officiating, with burial to follow at the Greenwood County Cemetery in Eureka. Visitation will be Sunday, June 7th, 2020 from 1-4 PM at Loran Fawcett Funeral Home in Neodesha. Memorials have been suggested to Fall River Methodist Church and may be left with the funeral home. Online condolences may be left at https://www.loranfawcettchapel.com/Services have been entrusted to Loran Fawcett Funeral Home, 704 Indiana St, Neodesha, KS 66757.
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