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Virginia LaNelle Wilkes Blanton

1925 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Virginia LaNelle Wilkes Blanton Obituary
Virginia LaNelle Wilkes Blanton

Memphis, TN

Virginia LaNelle Wilkes Blanton, formerly of Memphis, died peacefully at home early Saturday morning September 16, 2017 surrounded by her four children and other members of the family. She was 92 years old and went to meet her Lord after a short illness. She was born May 25, 1925 outside of Glen Allen, MS to Claude Murphy Wilkes and Oma Lay Perkins where her father was stationed to work on the Mississippi River Levee system for the Corps of Engineers. She moved around the delta as the levee system progressed, finally settling in Goodman, Mississippi.

Upon graduation from Holmes County Consolidated High School, she attended Holmes Junior College then transferred to the University of Alabama and then Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi before finally transferring to the University of Mississippi in Oxford. It was there that she met her husband of 54 years, Orion Dee Blanton and completed her Junior year before postponing her education to give birth to their first child, Bonnie, and allow Orion to complete Pharmacy School. She was an "Ole Miss" fan to the very end.

She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and mother-in-law always crafting some handmade work of fabric art for a member of the family. From crochet to dress making to cross-stitch to embroidery to quilting, she loved to proclaim her passion for any type of needlework or sewing project. In her later decades she became devoted to quilting, not only in the making of quilts, but also in the teaching of the art to others, young and old. She created a series of Civil War quilts that she would display and present wherever asked, that traced the history of the Civil War, the major battles and the prominent historical figures of that time.

When her husband, Orion died in July of 2000, she sold their home of 42 years on North Parkway in midtown Memphis and moved to Collierville, TN where she was instrumental in the beginning of the Collierville Quilters Guild. Prior to that she had been a research specialist for the Board of Education for the Memphis City School System and after retirement, had owned Heirloom Stitchery, a small needlework store in Bartlett, TN.

She was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Orion, her parents and stepfather and her sister, Alice "Claudine" Keel (Ronnie) of the Birmingham, AL area. Virginia is survived by her four children and spouses, Bonnie Blanton Erickson (Bernard) of Burleson, TX, Terre Luanne Blanton Harris (Hardy) of Jackson, MS, Alan Orion Blanton (Johnnie) of Germantown, TN and Timothy Edward Blanton (Wendie) of Cordova, TN. She is also survived by ten grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren as well as many nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express their deep love and gratitude to both Comfort Keepers of Memphis and Crossroads Hospice, both who made these last days and weeks as comfortable for Mother as possible and gave her family comfort as well. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be directed to Trinity United Methodist Church at the corner of Galloway and Evergreen in Memphis.
Published in The Commercial Appeal from Sept. 19 to Sept. 20, 2017
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