James "Jim" Blankenship
James G. Blankenship, age 89, passed away on Monday, April 10, 2017 at Eastside AFC in Battle Creek. He was born on July 17, 1927 in Tekamah, NE (Burt County) to Claude and Gladys Blankenship. The second born of eight children, Jim grew up in Nebraska, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, then moved to Battle Creek, MI where he was the best switchman at Grand Trunk Railroad in his 36 years there. Live music was always at the center of family gatherings and events, and Jim was very proud of his children and grandchildren for the music they created. An avid card player and pool shark, Jim was really in his element at either the card or pool table. Jim also had a special talent and passion for rescuing and caring for baby animals – among the animals he took under his wing over the years were raccoons, deer, squirrels, foxes and pheasants.
Jim was preceded in death by his son Terry, and is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Joan; son James (Chris), daughters Sandy and Connie (Rick); sisters Claudine, Donna, Gloria (Brian), Janet and brother Ted (Laura); grandchildren Brandi (Mike), Ryan (Kristen), Matt (Jessica), Shane, Kayla, and Alex; and great-grandchildren Samantha, Kaitlyn, Mallory and Luke.
Because of Jim’s love for animals, donations to The Humane Society on Jim’s behalf would be appreciated. The family is planning a private ceremony to lay Jim to rest, with a life celebration event to take place during July near Jim’s 90th birthday.