SHELBY- F. Eugene "Gene" Blanton joined his precious wife, parents and siblings in heaven for a celebration, early Monday morning, on May 6, 2013.
The Guest Book is expired.
Gene was born on March 1, 1925, to the late Zebulon Vance and Ollie Jarrett Blanton. Gene's father and brother, Carl, were killed when the First National Bank collapsed in 1928.
Besides his father, mother and oldest brother, Gene was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Florence, "Flo" Blanton; and siblings, Ethel Blanton McMurray, Glenn Blanton, Louise Blanton Hamrick, Beuna Blanton Hamrick, Howard Blanton, Zeb Blanton Jr., Beatrice Blanton Beam, Dan Blanton and Charles Blanton.
Gene was a loving husband who faithfully cared for and encouraged his wife during her long and courageous battle with cancer and Parkinson's disease. He loved and treasured his large family, including each brother, sister, niece, and nephew and enjoyed frequent reunions and times of family gatherings and celebrations.
He is survived by his two children, son, Van Blanton and wife Lynn of Sanford; daughter, Christie Blanton Ray and husband Wesley of Belmont. He felt blessed by his four grandchildren, Becky Blanton Richardson and husband Cy of Bear Creek, Vance Blanton and wife Adrienne Hamrick Blanton of Cary, Thomas Eugene Ray and fiancée Goldie Chandler of Raleigh, and Jonathan Ray of Belmont. He will be deeply missed by his grandchildren who loved and admired their "Papa Gene."
Gene thoroughly enjoyed his grands, celebrating their accomplishments and staying involved in their lives. He often expressed how much he felt blessed by his grandchildren and he enjoyed his "house divided" by his #1 and only granddaughter, a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing and his three grandsons who chose NC State University for their engineering degrees.
Gene was an entrepreneur at an early age, beginning work at six years old, delivering milk bottles. Other jobs to contribute to the family well-being included farming, raising and selling chickens, driving a school bus, and managing a bowling alley. He began his sales career at Shelby Supply, then worked with Dixie Industrial alongside Robert Price, Colon Goode and others before venturing out on his own as a distributor with Atlantic Richfield, beginning Blanton Oil Company with Bob Arey Sr. Later, he and Billy Williams purchased GB Harrill Chemical and Paper Company. He was president of Eastern Décor, Inc. with dear friend C. F. (Charlie) Harry III and son Van Blanton for 25 years. One of his most recent ventures includes Uptown mini- storages with lifelong friend and business partner TC Stickland. Gene often could be found at the storages reviewing sales with general manager, Dean Garver.
Not only did Gene enjoy his family and his business ventures, he also had many memories of endeavors to help families of the crippled and burned child through the Shriners. He was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist church and served in many leadership and committee roles through his active years. He began each day reading one of his favorite sayings, "Lord help me remember that nothing is going to happen today that You and I can't handle."
His family will be eternally grateful to home caregivers Linda, Bobby, Kinyon, Melinda, Leslie, and Deann.
Funeral Service: 4 p.m. Sunday at Aldersgate United Methodist Church. After the service, the family may be joined in the Epworth Building for one of Gene's favorite desserts, banana pudding.
Officiated By: The Rev. Wayne Allen
Funeral Home: Cleveland Funeral Services & Crematory is serving the family
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 1207 West Dixon Blvd., Shelby, NC 28152
Cleveland Funeral Services
2518 W Dixon Blvd
Shelby, NC 28152
Published in Shelby Star on May 11, 2013