Baker-Stevens-Parramore Funeral Home
1500 Manchester Avenue
Middletown, OH 45042
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Virgil C. BLANKENSHIP Obituary

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BLANKENSHIP, Virgil C. Even to his last breath, Virgil Curtis Blankenship did things his way. Virgil, 77, died Wednesday in Coshocton after a long illness. He is survived by Mary Lee (Denny) Blankenship, his loving wife of almost 46 years. He was born Feb. 19, 1936 in Lincoln County, Ky., to the late Roscoe and Ethel (Turner) Blankenship but lived most of his life in Middletown. After his service in the U.S. Army, Virgil worked at Armco (now AK Steel), where his coworkers knew him as "The Grump," until his retirement in 1988. His sole source of counsel was the Bible. If scripture supported a decision, he cared little about what people thought. He was a longtime member of Christian Fellowship Church in Germantown. He served as a deacon, treasurer and Sunday school teacher there until 1999 when he and Mary retired to Crossville, Tenn., where he continued to be active in church until returning to Ohio in 2011. He and Mary traveled often in the early years of his retirement, and some of their favorite journeys included cruises of the Caribbean and the Alaskan coast and a trip to the Grand Canyon. If you had been somewhere before, so had Virgil, and he'd be glad to tell you what he had thought and what roads he had taken to get there. A nephew once told him he would make a good tour guide. One of his favorite pastimes was reading. Anything in his line of vision was fair game - from books, mostly history but Mary's romance novel would do if it was the only thing nearby, to every single sign and historical marker at every place he visited, even at Valley Forge when it was 100 degrees in the shade. He enjoyed listening to The Chuck Wagon Gang and Tom T. Hall, and if there was a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movie on TV, he would find it. Even if he was asleep, "Hey," he'd stir if you even lightly brushed the remote, "I'm watching that." He amassed a trove of trivia, and he loved pulling from it to illustrate a point, join in a conversation or "entertain" his grandchildren. Yes, there was nothing Virgil didn't know - except that, sometimes, he was wrong. He wasn't easy on people, and he made no apologies. He was stubborn and steadfast. But he was loved. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters: Pamela (the Rev. James) Childers, of Coshocton, and Christine (Jeffrey) Rehmert, of Middletown; four grandchildren: Ryan (Katie) Childers, of Hartford, Ky.; Holly (Kevin) Rehmert McElwain, of Eaton; Tyler (Shelby) Rehmert, of Corinth, Miss.; and Vanessa (Sainaga) Childers Srikantham, of Woodridge, Ill.; five great-grandchildren: Kaegan, Dane, Kerrigan, Gavin and Audrey Ella; and three siblings: Margaret Dalton, Nellie Hall and Charles Blankenship. He was preceded in death by his parents and 7 siblings. A celebration of life service will be at 1:00 p.m. Monday at Baker-Stevens Funeral Home in Middletown, with the Rev. James Childers officiating. Visitation will begin at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Health Services and Hospice of Coshocton: 230 S. Fourth St., Coshocton, Ohio 43812. Condolences may be sent to the family @ www.bakerstevensparramore.com

Published in Journal-News on Dec. 7, 2013
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