Richard Kyle Blankenship

Monday, March 18, 2013
Richard Kyle Blakenship

Richard Kyle Blankenship, 91, passed away Saturday, March 16, 2013, at Monette Manor. He was born April 11, 1921, at Macey to the late Richard Clyde and Allie Mae Wallace Blankenship. Mr. Kyle was a 1940 graduate of Monette High School where he was valedictorian. He served his country proudly in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II, then as a member of the American Legion. He served his community as a member of the Monette Volunteer Fire Dept from 1947 until 1996; helped organize the first V.J. Day celebration in Monette; helped organize the first baseball park in Monette and coached for several years; built and operated the foul board in the old Monette Gym for over 30 years. He was a faithful member of the Monette First Baptist Church. He started Blankenship's Body Shop in 1945 and his son continues the family business. He raced speed boats in the 1950s and stock cars in the 1960s and 1970s and loved watching NASCAR. He was also called Tin Bender by all of his CB Radio friends. He loved watching his grandkids play ball and to listen to them sing. He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend.

He is survived by his children and their spouses, Judy and Gary Gipson of Benton, Suzanne and Russ Hurt of Lamar, Mo., and Bob and Doris Blankenship of Monette; a brother, Phillip Blankenship of Cardwell, Mo.; a sister, Doris Ballew of Dallas, Texas; 10 grandchildren, Chad Carter, Micah Gipson, Kris Gipson, Todd Gipson, Brooke Gibson, Blake Westbrook, Chase Hurt, Ryan Hurt, Missi Miller and Kristi Wildy; 11 great-grandchildren, Logan Gipson, Matthew Gipson, Carson Browning, Noah Gibson, Eden Gibson, Beighlor Hurt, Jordon Miller, Caleb Miller, Connor Miller, Blaire Wildy and Blaine Wildy.

He was also preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Geneva Mahan Blankenship, and two sisters, Betty Wright and Bonita Reed.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, March 18, at the Monette First Baptist Church with Rev. Gary Gipson and Chaplain Robert Chambers officiating. Burial with military honors was in the Monette Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Gregg Funeral Home of Monette.

The family received friends from noon until time of service at the church.

Honored to serve as pallbearers were Billy Harrell, W.T. Bibb, Kevin Wimberley, David Clark, Kristian Nuckles and Bob Hurst; and honorary pallbearers were Mac Bounds, past and presents members of the Monette Volunteer Fire Department and the members of the Monette Abner Blankenship American Legion Post.

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