Andrew James Blanchard "A.J." CHARLOTTE - Andrew James "A.J." Blanchard, 102, of Charlotte entered into Heaven to be with his Heavenly Father, his wife, parents and sisters on June 30, 2014. He was born in Mecklenburg County on October 10 , 1911; the only son of Andrew Jackson "Boss" Blanchard and Dovie Merritt Blanchard. A.J. attended Old Pineville School and Sharon School. As a boy, his father taught him to plant, cultivate and harvest the crops that God provided. A.J.'s father also encouraged him to have another goal; his first business venture was working with Norris Engineering Company in Gastonia. Later, he joined Charlotte Pipe and Foundry where he worked for 25 years and still found the time to plant his crops and raise a family. He was a member of the Elks Club and Woodman of the World. In 1952, A.J. and his wife, Melvene, established Blanchard's Esso and Grocery on Carmel Road. A.J. was one of the oldest members of Sharon Presbyterian Church where he served as a Deacon and long standing member of the Christian Fellowship Sunday School Class. A.J. is predeceased by his loving wife, of 68 years, Melvene Sistare Blanchard; sisters, Lilly, Vergie, Minnie, Beulah, Emma and Mae and his daughter-in-law, Irene. He is survived by his daughter, Elaine B. Eichler and her husband, John; son, Jimmy Blanchard; grandchildren, Webb H. Layton III, Leslie Shipp, Michael Layton, Harrell Reynolds, Tracey Blanchard and Tami Blanchard; great-grandchildren, Brian, Christopher, Sarabeth, Jordan, Megan and Forrest; brother-in-law, Carl Mullis; nieces, Billie Ruth Gooch, Carolyn Galloway, Peggy Gulledge, Kay Simmons; nephews, Tommie Kiser, Jerry Martin, Oren Starnes, Benny Alexander, Norman Gooch and William Gooch. A visitation reception will be held on Monday July 7 at 2:30 pm at Sharon Presbyterian Church, 5201 Sharon Rd. followed by a funeral service at 3:30 pm with Rev. Ron Nelson officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Sharon Presbyterian Church Building Fund or Cemetery Fund. Online condolences may be left at www.McEwenPinevilleChapel.com.
Published in Charlotte Observer from July 3 to July 6, 2014