CHARLOTTE - Francis Joseph Frank Blanchfield, Jr. passed away at his home on Sunday, May 12, 2013, after a long struggle with Diabetes. Born in Chicago, Illinois on September 19, 1945, Frank was the oldest son of the late Francis J. Blanchfield, Sr. and the late Margaret H. Blanchfield. He is survived by his wife, Sandra G. Blanchfield of Charlotte, NC, and his son, Brian A. Blanchfield of Tucson, Arizona. Other survivors include his sister, Melissa A. Gurnari of Bloomingdale, NJ, and her husband Joey; his brother, James S. Blanchfield of Huntersville, NC, and his wife Diane; and six nieces. Frank graduated with top honors in political science from the College of Holy Cross in 1967, and then attended New York University
Law School on a prestigious Root-Tilden Scholarship. At NYU he was President of the Student Bar Association and recipient of the Vanderbilt Medal. After law school Frank served in active duty as First Lieutenant and Instructor in Criminal and Military Law at the US Army Military Police School in Fort Gordon, Georgia. Upon fulfillment of his military service, Frank returned to NYU to receive an LLM in Taxation in 1974. After four years of private practice as an associate and partner with the Augusta, Georgia law firm of Hull, Towill, Norman, Bennett & Johnson, Frank worked for the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General (1977 to 1979) and then Deputy Assistant Attorney General (1979 to 1980), where he served with distinction and received the U.S. Attorney General's Medal. In 1980 Frank returned to private practice in Charlotte, NC, where he worked for more than thirty years with several regional, national and international law firms which he either founded, co-founded or served in leadership roles in office and practice management. He retired from Mayer Brown LLP in September 2010. Throughout his career, Frank's business judgment and tax expertise were highly regarded by CEO's and senior management of public and privately held companies, tax managers, accountants, individual clients and attorneys who had the privilege of working with him. Frank was recognized as a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. He had a keen interest in tax policy and often assisted in guiding tax policy on both state and national levels, including working as an advisor to the US Treasury Department in co-drafting the Puerto Rican Income Tax Act of 1975. In 1990, Frank was selected by Justice Harry Blackmun for participation in the Aspen Institute Justice and Society Seminar, a testament to his capacious and searching intellect. Frank enjoyed being a mentor, enthusiastically offering his insight, judgment, tax expertise, superb writing skills and ever present humor to the partners, associates and staff of the law firms in which he served. Frank's role as counselor included his commitment to serving the community. Among the many service opportunities he embraced, Frank served on the Arts and Science Counsel Board (as Chairman and Board Member) and the North Carolina Dance Theatre Board, and gave generously to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In each instance Frank was fully engaged and his service was backed by his personal commitment to contribute his time, talents and financial resources for the betterment of the organizations and the community they served. Frank's commitment to community also included providing legal services without charge to individuals with little means who faced difficult legal challenges. Throughout his life and legal career, Frank's actions and work were epitomized by professionalism, dedication to excellence, commitment to community, generosity, and by his tireless devotion to his family and the many friends and associates whose lives he touched. In addition to his numerous work and community contributions, Frank will be missed for his inclusive personality, quick Irish wit, and laughter which were present throughout his life. The Heritage Funeral Home is serving the Blanchfield family. Visitation will be held at Heritage Funeral Home located at 3700 Forest Lawn Drive, Matthews, NC on Wednesday, May 15th from 5:00PM to 8:00PM. The funeral service will be held at St. Gabriel Catholic Church located at 3016 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC at 11:00AM on Thursday, May 16th. Interment will follow in Forest Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation: 205 Regency Executive Park Drive, Suite 102, Charlotte, NC, 28217.