---- — Robert P. Blankenship, 94, Mt. Vernon, formerly of Houston died Saturday, June 15, 2013, at GreenTree of Mt. Vernon Memory Care where he has resided since February 2011.
Born Aug. 28,1918, in Jacksonville, Texas, son of Love L. (Ayers) and Burl B. Blankenship, he spent most of his life in Houston where he graduated from Jefferson Davis High School and attended the University of Houston.
On July 4, 1942, he married Kathleen V. Stehr at the Chapel of Ft. Brown in Brownsville, Texas. She preceded him in death on Dec. 9, 2001, in Houston.
Mr. Blankenship is survived by two daughters, Eugenia Zibby of Centralia and Karen Blair and husband Royce of Pearland, Texas; three granddaughters, Kathleen “Kay” Zibby-Damron and husband Steve of Mt. Vernon, Alison K. Blair of Aspen, Colo., and Ashley E. (Blair) Ohman and husband Trent of Tulsa, Okla.; a grandson, Michael R. Zibby and wife Stephanie of Memphis, Tenn.; three great-grandchildren, Michael Patrick Zibby, Blair Kathleen Ohman and Grace Eugenia Ohman; several nieces and nephews; and the loving care givers and staff of GreenTree Memory Care and VNA/TIP Hospice.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, three sisters and his son-in-law, Dr. Michael P. Zibby.
A World War II U.S. Army veteran, he served in the medical corps of the 124th Cavalry at Ft. Brown, Texas, and in Burma. Following the war, he was a member of the China-Burma-India Veterans Association and the 124th Cavalry Association in which he held several offices including president. “Blankie” and Kathleen helped organize and faithfully attended many annual 124th reunions in Brownsville. They were frequently the hospitality chairmen.
Mr. Blankenship was employed in the production department of Amoco Petroleum Company for more than 30 years until his retirement.
He had been an active member of Glenbrook United Methodist Church in Houston and was a member of the Downtown Houston Optimists Club.
He and his wife enjoyed traveling, going to the theater and social events with friends, and attending as many activities of their children and grandchildren as they could. For many years they came to Centralia to visit their daughter and family and to attend the annual Balloonfest and Healthcare Foundation Ball. In Houston, their home was a favorite gathering place for family and friends — always full of laughter and love.
As a proud Texan, Robert was a true gentleman who lived life to the fullest. An adoring husband, father, grandfather, and friend, his life was a testament to the importance of family, good character, honesty and integrity, the meaning of a secure home, the beauty of having friends, and giving and receiving love.
For those who wish, memorials may be given to the United Methodist Children’s Home, Mt. Vernon or to the Healthcare Foundation, P.O. Box 462, Carlyle, IL 62231, and will be accepted at Hughey Funeral Home, or may be mailed to P.O. Box 721, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864.
In honor of his wishes, he will be cremated and there will be no visitation. Interment will be held at Forest Park Cemetery, Houston, at a later date.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Hughey Funeral Home where you may call 242-3348 or visit www.hugheyfuneralhome1969.com for further information and to send condolences.