John Blankenship

Submitted by: Bobby Laseter

John Blankenship
John Blankenship was my great grandfather.He was the son of Lula and Moses Blankenship.He was born around 1908,in Buchanan County,Virginia.The family moved to McDowell County,sometime in the 1920's.John and his brother Cal,went to work at Atlantic Smokeless Coal Company(Asco),as soon as they were old enough.John married Nora Mae Parks,on May 16,1931.He was 23 years old and she was 18.Together they had 6 children.They lost 2 children in infancy,both being born prematurely.He passed away while Nora was pregnant,with thier 6th child.This child died at age 2,of diptheria.My great grandfather died when he was only 29 years old.Of his descendents,there were 3 surviving children,7 grandchildren,at least 8 great grandchildren even more great great grandchildren.My grandmother was his oldest surviving daughter.Her memories of him were few but fond.She was allways proud of her father.The impression of him is one of a hardworking and loving man.The family has one photo of him.I have a copy and it hangs in my living room.I will tell my children and future grandchildren about him,when they ask.I will tell them the stories,my grandmother told me.Allthough he lacked formal education and never fought in any wars,and only his passing made the newspapers,I am just as proud.It's not just any man, who would work in those conditions he faced daily,jeopardizing his health and life,to feed his family.If it was his choice or not,he did so without ever making his children feel ashamed or unloved.My great grandfather was may have never achieved what some considered "greatness'.He worked hard and died young,yet he managed to instill some very important values in his children,who in turn passed them on.He taught us that love is what really matters,to take care of your own,with all that you have inside you,and to allways take pride in your work,and who you are.John Blankenship,gone but not forgotten,1908-1938

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