Blankstyn, William Charles (Bill Blannon)
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65, passed away March 26th, 2014 in Chandler Az. Born August 29th, 1948 in Chicago IL. Growing up Bill loved the game of baseball which he played through high school until an injury put an end to his playing days, but not the love of the game. After graduating high school he attended NIU. At Northern Illinois University Bill started reporting for the campus newspaper, The Northern Star. His reporting on campus politics caught the interest of WNIU station management and Bill was hired as a reporter for the campus radio station WNIU-AM working his way up to station manager his senior year. After graduating with a BS in journalism and political science from NIU, Bill decided to take his college roommate Dusty up on his offer to take a cross-country motorcycle trip to find an area of the country they would like to live. Riding into Phoenix under the hot sun of August Bill had an empty gas tank and $2.34 in his pockets. Bill stayed with some friends in Glendale until he landed a job at the number one "Rock N Roll" station in the 'Valley of the Sun' KRUX radio as the all night newscaster using the on air name of Bill Blannon which he used throughout his carrier. Within a year KRUX management moved Bill to Tucson to do afternoon drive news for their sister station, KTKT Radio. After a year with KTKT, Bill was hired by KOLD-TV, in Tucson. In 1975 Bill was hired by KTAR-TV now KPNX-TV Channel 12 as a weekend anchor and reporter. For the next twenty years Bill worked in Phoenix television winning many awards including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for his reporting. Bill was preceded in death by his father John William Blankenstein. He is survived by his mother Ida Gertrude Blankenstein of Chandler, Arizona. Arrangements under the direction of Valley of the Sun Funeral Home, Chandler, AZ. to leave condolences visit www.valleyofthesunfuneralhome.com
Published in The Arizona Republic on Apr. 8, 2014