BLANDING, DR. Z. BENJAMIN - M.A. Psy.D, CCS, FPPR, ABMPP, AAPTA, DCFM; Board Certified Clinical Psychologist and Assoc. Professor of Psychology; Director of Health, Counseling & Psychological Services and the Asst. Vice President of Student Development â€" Division of Student Affairs at Rowan University of NJ; and Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.) Zenola "Z" Benjamin Blanding, 62 of Williamstown, was the son of the late Jessie and Willie Lewis Blanding Sr.; went home to be with the Lord on April 20th, 2012. He was born on December 15, 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and at an early age he moved to Camden, South Carolina where he resided until entering the United States Army. He was raised by his beloved grandmother the late Mattie Blanding, who instilled in him that he could do anything he put his mind to; and his life achievements confirmed her words of encouragement to be true. Along with his grandmother Z was raised by his aunt and uncle the late Esau and Helen McLeod. Z accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal savior at an early age and rededicated his life in 2008 and attended the Evangelical Fellowship Church in Pleasantville under the leadership of his father-in-law Bishop Dr. Fred Jerkins Jr. In 1971 "Z" graduated from South Carolina State University in the upper 10% of his class, earning a Bachelor of Science in Professional Psychology. He was also honored as a Distinguished Military Graduate ranking 2nd in his class. In 1980, he graduated from Rider University with a Masters Degree in Professional Counseling, and Graduated with Distinction as First in his Class. In 1984 Zenola graduated from Florida Institute of Technology with a Doctorate Degree in Psychology. His many Honors and Awards include numerous Fellows in Clinical Psychology; including International Academy of Eclectic Psychotherapists, American Board of Medical Psychotherapists, The National Prescribing Psychologist Register, and The American Academy of Psychologists Treating Addiction. "Z" was also awarded the Martin Luther King Freedom Medal of New Jersey in 2003. There are extensive Professional Affiliations of which "Z" was a member â€" including The American Psychological Association, the American Society of Group Psychotherapy, The New York Academy of Sciences, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, The International & The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and so many more to mention. Some of his Professional experiences include: Attending Clinical Psychologist for the Psychiatric Outpatient Services for Beth Israel Medical Center of NY, Consultant and Teaching Faculty member for The Underwood Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, NJ, an Instructor for The Rutgers School of Alcohol & Addiction Studies, Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Seton Hall University and The Jersey State University. "Z" spent the last 17 years of his career at Rowan University of NJ as a Tenured Professor of Psychology; he was The Director of the Health Counseling and Psychological Services, The Assistant Vice President of Student Development, and was the Director of The Institute of Alcohol and Drug Studies. There are countless Publications, Books, Technical Reports, Conference Papers, Course Designs, and Grants that were written; as well as several television, radio and newspapers interviews regarding his expertise in psychology. "Z" spent over 21 years in the United States Army. He retired as an Honorable Lt. Colonel. His Military Honors include: The Good Conduct and The National Defense Medals, several Certificates of Outstanding Service and Duty Dedication, the Overseas Command Award, The Army Commendation for Meritorious Service Medal, the Master Lecturer Award, Master Group Facilitator, the Army and Department of Defense Meritorious Service Medals for Superior Performance and Dedication, Joint Service of Desert Shield/Storm, Joint Service Achievement Medal for Superior Performance during Desert Storm, and the Highest Honor given to "Z" was The Legion of Merit for Exceptional Meritorious Service. His Military Education includes Infantry Officer, Basic & Advance, and he was an Airborne Ranger. In Alexandria VA, at the Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, "Z" was a Research Psychologist and Coordinator, the Military Assistant to the Director & Consultant Psychologist of the Manpower & Personnel Research Laboratory; and an EAP Coordinator and Staff Counselor. At the Dept. of Defense, "Z" was the Director of Professional Development Counseling & Remediation and Adjunct Faculty Instructional Team at the Patrick Air Force Base in Florida. He was the Director/Chief of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Control branch and the US Army New Directions Counseling Center in Fort Dix, NJ. "Z" was the Director of the Counseling Community Clinic and was The Brigade Alcohol/Control Officer; as well as The Psychological Alcohol and Drug Unit Counselor and Education Officer for the First Battalion, 6th Infantry, 1st Armored Division in West Germany. He was also a Master Parachutist and Expert Infantryman. He served nine years in Infantry and 12 years in Personnel Management, as his primarily specialty within the Armed Forces. In 1989-1992, "Z" was Director of Personnel Administration and Health Services for the Military Traffic Management Command in Bayonne, NJ. He served in the Gulf War, Desert Storm, and actively served throughout the Vietnam Era. He was a member of The Naomi Chapter of Disabled American Veterans (DAV15), and The American Legion Post 738 ADVA, Chapter 266. "Z" was predeceased by his brother Larry Blanding. His many survivors include, his loving, devoted wife, Sybil Jerkins-Blanding, one daughter Zaukema Blanding, one son, Zachary Blanding, two stepchildren Morgan Jerkins and Trenair Royal along with her husband, Dr. Marvin Royal, II. Z and Sybil have one grand-daughter, Brooke Royal who was just born on April 6th. There are two brothers, Willie Blanding, J., (Madeline Blanding), Ronald Blanding (Darlene Blanding), and one sister, Dr. Renee Blanding Wright (Dr. Benjamin Wright). He also leaves to mourn his dear mother-in-law, Sylvia (MiMi) Jerkins and father-in-law, Bishop Fred Jerkins (known to "Z" as "Dad"), his sister-in-law, Sharene Jerkins-Kirkland, two brothers in-law, Fred Jerkins III (Shannon Jerkins), and Rodney Jerkins (Joy Jerkins); and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. In special recognition, is his dear friend who was like a brother to him, (Pop) Leonard Johnson. Also, holding "Z" in fond memory, is Terriana (Riana) Milne, MA, LPC, LCADC, SAC; known as "his Star Student," and Sybil Jerkins-Blanding's dear friend, who introduced them in 2001. Dr. Z. Benjamin Blanding was known for his outstanding service to mankind, his warm, generous laugh, his dedication to his wife and family, and his love of teaching and inspiring others. Home-Going Services will be 11am Friday, April 27, 2012 at the Morning Star Dome 2816 Fire Road, Egg Harbor Township New Jersey 08234. Private viewing for family only from 10am to 11am. Burial immediately following service at the Atlantic County Veterans Cemetery 109 State Hwy 50 Estell Manor, NJ 08319. Arrangements by the Adams Perfect Funeral Home, Northfield, NJ. Anyone wishing to make a Donation to Dr. Z. Benjamin Blanding's memory may send a Donation to The Dr. Z. Benjamin Blanding Scholarship Fund for Outstanding Psychology Students. For details, email: Dr.ZBlandingScholarshipFund@gmail.com. Arrangments entrusted to and condolences may be left for the family at adams-perfect.com.
This obituary was originally published in The Press of Atlantic City.