John Harnly "Jack" Blankenship, 93, Riverside, passed away on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, at Emmanuel Nursing and Rehab Center, Danville, surrounded by his family.
He was born Dec. 31, 1924, in Shenandoah, Iowa, and was brought up in Lincoln, Neb., by his parents, the late Lloyd Milton and Kathryn (Harnly) Blankenship. He was married to his beloved wife of 53 years, Marian Colegrove Blankenship, who preceded him in death on Oct. 24, 1999.
John began working part time at age 8 and worked 40 hours weekly through his senior year at Lincoln High School where he was a National Honor Society member and Drama Society president.
During World War II he attended the University of Nebraska, joined the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity, worked defense jobs in Fort Smith in the Northwest Territories of Canada and Western Electric's Hawthorne Works in Chicago. Jack served in the Navy, first in the Motor Torpedo Boat Service (PT Boats) and later as Petty Officer Disbursing Storekeeper 3c, US Naval Air Service, Wold-Chamberlain Field, Minneapolis, Minn.
After the war he graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, receiving AB and MBA degrees (with distinction) and membership in Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi honorary fraternities; while serving as president of the Willow Village Resident Council, Ypsilanti, Mich..
Following employment by the General Motors Corporation in Detroit and GM's Overseas Operations Division in New York City, he became an independent personnel consultant in 1960, specializing in counseling to improve work effectiveness.
In Denville, N.J., he was a member of the Township Shade Tree and Beautification Committee, served as secretary of the Industrial Committee, and was a member of Denville's American Legion Post 390. Jack was also a former member of the New York Personnel Management Association and the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference. Locally in Danville, he was a longtime volunteer groundskeeper at Faith Chapel in Rush Township.
John was an Appalachian Trail hiker, a hole-in-one golfer, a surf fisherman, and a fly fisherman. During retirement he focused on assisting the growth and development of three grandchildren whom he adored.
Surviving are one son, Geisinger Medical Center cardiologist, Dr. James Blankenship and his wife, Mary, of Danville; three grandchildren, Leah of Albuquerque, N.M., Bart of Philadelphia, and Peter of Washington, D.C.; one brother, Dr. James Milton Blankenship, retired, of Tacoma, Wash.
A celebration of Jack's life will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 17, at Visneski Funeral Home Inc., 42 W. Mahoning St., Danville, with Pastor Bill Renno officiating. Friends will be received from 1 to 2 p.m. prior to the service.
Burial will follow in Columbia Hill Cemetery, Danville, with military rites accorded by American Legion Post 40.
The family will provide flowers. Contributions may be made to The Marian and Jack Blankenship Scholarship Fund, Cornell Weill Medical College, 445 E. 69th St., New York, NY 10021, or the Phi Kappa Fraternity, 5395 Emerson Way, Indianapolis, IN 46226.
Published on June 7, 2018