May 14, 1927 ~ October 27, 2018

Born in: Rock Hill, SC,
Resided in: Asheville, NC

John Gilliard Blankenship, 91, passed away Saturday, October 27, 2018, at his home. Born May 14, 1927, in Rock Hill, SC, his family moved to Swannanoa in 1931, where John later graduated from Swannanoa High School. He was a Navy veteran of WW II, serving on the destroyer USS Taussig in the China Theater during the China Civil War. After the war, John worked on the lakes in the Merchant Marines for eight years. John then returned to NC where he worked for Parkland Chevrolet and later managed the body shop for Apple Tree Chevrolet before retiring. John is survived by his wife of 50 years, Pauline R. Blankenship; daughter Dr. Margaret Elizabeth “Beth” Smith (Corey); grandson, Caleb Smith, granddaughter Kaycee Smith; sister, Nancy Wells (Bruce); nieces Susan Woolwine, Pam Roman and Ann Howard nephews, Charlie Wells and Kevin Blankenship, and several great-nieces & nephews. He was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Ann Matheny and brothers, Charles Blankenship, Bernard C. Blankenship, W. Earl Blankenship, and James M. Blankenship. The family will receive friends in the parlor of Groce Funeral Home on Patton Avenue from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, November 4, followed by a funeral service at 1:30 p.m. Pastor Allen Rash of Trinity Baptist Church will officiate. Pastor Doug Guy, also of Trinity Baptist Church, will bring message in song. Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. Monday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to CarePartners Hospice, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813.

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  1. I was a Claims Adjuster with Nationwide Insurance in Asheville for many years
    in the 70s and 80s and handled many claims with John at Apple Tree. He was always so respectful of my opinions and we always got along. I remember he was one person taller than me and we always had a good laugh. I saw John in recent years at an assisted living facility in Asheville when we were visiting a mutual friend. It was so good to see John. My deepest sympathy to John and his family. He was a true gentleman. Gerry Huntley (828-318-4013).

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  2. So sorry about John’s passing! Wish I could be there for the visitation and funeral, but will not be able to make it. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Louise Varner (Bruce’s sister)

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  3. John was my uncle and like a second father to me. He was a truly wonderful man. When I was young he would delight me by giving me little trinkets and gifts that I treasured and referred to as ‘grand toys’. I will miss him very deeply, but I take comfort in knowing The Lord has welcomed him into eternity with loving, open arms. I will always love you John.

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