Rex Eugene ” Gene” Blankenship was born the son of William Lee Blankenship and Mary (Leu) Blankenship on November 28, 1922, in Oregon County, Missouri, and died in Springfield, Missouri, on July 28, 2015, exactly 4 months before his 93rd birthday. He was surrounded by family and friends and slipped away peacefully.
He was united in marriage on April 3, 1949, at Salem, Arkansas, to Betty Cozette Combs, who preceded him in death on January 18, 1999.
He is survived by one daughter, Brenda Sue Scott and husband, Larry, of Thayer, Missouri; one son, Gary Blankenship and wife, Paula, of Springfield, Missouri; one brother, Francis Brenner and wife, Louise, of Thayer, Missouri; three grandchildren, Sarah Scott Blankenship of Thayer, Lauren Scott and husband, Aaron Jones, of Springfield, Cat Blankenship of Los Angeles, California; four great grandchildren, Elly, Anna, Amy, and Austin, all of Thayer; other relatives, and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, William Blankenship; his mother, Mary Brenner; step-father, Fred Brenner; one sister, Johanna Brenner, and his wife of forty-nine years, Betty Blankenship.
Gene was a life-long resident of Oregon County, except for his time in World War II, serving across Europe in Patton’s army. His careers were as varied as his interests. He worked with his hands and did whatever was needed to help Betty support the family. He was a welder, machinist, carpenter, woodworker, photographer, inventor, scuba diver, salvager, beekeeper, gardener, gyrocopter pilot, flint napper, rock hound, and had a thousand other vocations and interests. He had the curiosity and strength of a teenage boy and the intelligence to drive that curiosity.
He will be remembered as a loving father and grandfather, and a loyal friend. He will truly be missed.
Funeral Services for Mr. Blankenship will be Friday, July 31, 2015, at 2:00 PM at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer, with Sheila Smith officiating.
Burial will be in the Thayer Cemetery in Thayer, Missouri, with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fun and Friends Senior Center in Thayer, and may be left at the funeral home.