Mary L. (Denny) Blankenship, God calls Christians to live their lives with the values comprising the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23): love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If anyone has ever mastered these characteristics in life, it was Mary Blankenship. Mary, 83, died January 25 in New Concord due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. Born January 24, 1937, in Tribbey, KY, to the late Forest and Sarah (King) Denny, Mary knew loss and heartache early in life. Despite this, Mary exuded love and touched the lives of everyone she met. A 1955 graduate of Middletown High School, Mary excelled in her studies and was a National Honor Society member. She went to work as a secretary at Diamond –Gardner, where she worked under the late Earl Turvey, and later became the corporation’s first female sales correspondent, a position held until her retirement from Smurfit-Stone in 1999. Mary was a longtime member, Sunday school teacher and organist at Christian Fellowship Church in Germantown. She and her late husband, Virgil, retired to Crossville, TN where she remained involved in church until returning to Ohio in 2011. Her faith was steadfast even in hardship, including the prolonged illness that eventually claimed Virgil’s life. An avid seamstress and knitter, Mary also excelled in shorthand, a skill of her day. For almost 46 years, she was married to Virgil and his renowned cantankerousness. Her greatest joy was her family, with whom she traveled often. Gatlinburg was a favorite destination, but there also were many trips only for the grandchildren. If you only ever talked to Mary, you likely did not know what she had endured, what she had seen. If you did know, you might think it a kind of mercy that Alzheimer’s took those memories. But you would be doing Mary a disservice. Mary never focused on the bad things or dwelled on what could have been. She would tell you only of her beautiful and blessed life as a wife, a sister, a mother, a mamaw and a friend. Those of us who knew her best would tell you she was perfect in each capacity. Mary is survived by her daughters, Pamela (the Rev. James) Childers, of Roseville, and Ella Christine (Jeffery) Rehmert of Middletown; four grandchildren: Ryan, Holly, Tyler and Vanessa; six great-grandchildren: Kaegan, Dane, Kerrigan, Gavin, Audrey Ella, and Veda; a special niece, Karen Tipton Edds; and close friend Gina Burdge Izor. She also was preceded in death by her siblings-Leona, Jean, Bill, Leola, Jim and “Bud”- and a special brother-in-law, Fred Tipton, Sr. Visitation will be held Thursday, January 30, 2020 from 11:00-1:00 pm at Baker-Stevens-Parramore Funeral Home, 6850 Roosevelt Avenue, Middletown, OH 45005. A Celebration of Life Service will follow at 1:00 pm at the funeral home with Rev. James Childers officiating. Burial will follow at Woodhill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to The Foundation for Hospice of Central Ohio: Newark, 2269 Cherry Valley Rd., Newark, OH 43055. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.bakerstevensparramore.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Lee Blankenship, please visit our floral store.