William R. Blankenship, Sr., 86, died at noon on March 16, 2013 at home in Dawson. He was born November 14, 1926 in Springfield, the son of Ora and Bessie (Trout) Blankenship Sr. He married Janet (Chalcraft) Blankenship on July 14, 2001.
He is preceeded in death by his parents, a son, five sisters, Helen Bolinger, Evelyn Kidd, Donna Douglas, Shirley Morris and Juanita Balderrama; three brothers, Louis Whetzel, Robert Blankenship, and Francis “Babe” Blankenship.
He was a World War II veteran serving in the Pacific Theatre. He worked as an autobody repair and frame specialist for 52 years. He started his own business at his home in Dawson and later moved the business to South Grand in Springfield as Blankenship’s Autobody and Frame. He retired in 1998. He loved playing his guitar, dobro, mandolin, and harmonicas and getting together with his family. He loved antique cars and restored several, winning awards in auto shows.
Survivors include his wife, Janet Blankenship of Dawson. He has four children William R. Blankenship, Jr. (wife Darlene) from Terrell, Texas; Glenna Mae (husband Todd) Hancock of Grand Prairie, Texas; Gary R. (wife Robin) Blankenship of Colchester, CT and Terry J. Blankenship of Irving, Texas; eleven grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, and cousins. He also has three sisters, Almeda Horsfall of Indiana, Denzil DeVaney and Linda Marvel both of Springfield; two brothers, Ora Blankenship, Jr. and Fred (wife Nancy) Blankenship both of New Berlin. He has five brothers-in-law, James Douglas of Springfield, Harold Morris of Kansas City, MO., David Chalcraft of Ellery, Gary (wife Cathy) Chalcraft of Mt. Carmel, and Lyndell Chalcraft of Phoenix City, AL., one sister-in-law Anita (husband Lewis) Blackford of Browns, IL. and his in-laws, Elmer and Jean Chalcraft of Ellery
Visitation: 5:00 – 7:00 pm Wednesday March 20, 2013 at Staab Funeral Home.
Funeral Service: 11:00 am Thursday March 21, 2013 at Staab Funeral Home with Doug Trew officiating.
Burial will follow at Camp Butler National Cemetery where military honors will be conducted by the Sangamon County Interveterans Burial Detail.
Memorial Donations may be made to Lincoln Land Baptist Church.