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Cecil's Story

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Cecil Lynn Blankenship (a.k.a Lynn, Cecil, CB, CL, son, dad), runner, snappy dresser, artist, foodie, skilled cribbage and bridge player, and accomplished traveler, died on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 in Surprise, AZ at the age of 76.

The women in his life were numerous. He loved his mother Billie Alleen Jeanette Stalnaker Blankenship Beagles and his sister Debra Jean Baggett. He was blessed to have married two great loves, Linda Ann Ferguson Blankenship (29 years married) and Sarah Martha Leib Blankenship (24 years married). He adored his children, Julia Lynne Blankenship (Joel Thornton), Leslie Jane Guarino (Bobby), Sarah M'Lee Blankenship, Lara Nicole Shaw (Justin), Kirstin E. Webster, Kyndall Lynn Burroughs, and Matthew David Young (Emily). He is survived by 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. He is proceeded in death by his father Lynn (Pinky) Blankenship, Billie Beagles, brother-in-law Ted Baggett, Marty Blankenship, and grandson, Paul Dickson.

Lynn loved to run, build/repair things, dance, roller skate, bowl, fish, swim, travel, read, create art, and play cards and games.

Lynn ran for the love of it and to win. From his early 30's, Lynn ran nearly every day, competing in multiple full marathons, half marathons and iron man competitions throughout his lifetime. In poor weather he ran on a treadmill but he preferred to feel the outside wind on his face. Among his triumphs, he lists first place in the men's Triathlon in Sun City Grand, AZ in 1999.

Lynn could build and repair anything. He was well rounded and was a master stonemason and tile setter. His homes were adorned with many elaborate and complex stone walls and patios. Lynn believed in having a triple stocked tool box.

As a young man, Lynn taught ballroom dancing. He continued to love music and dance throughout his life. He loved country music and going to Broadway musicals. He was a member of the Dallas Theater Center for many years and frequently visited the opera in Texas and Arizona. As a young father you could find him
on weekends at the skating rink in Carthage or the Bowl-a-Rama in Joplin.

Lynn loved to swim and dive. He taught his daughters to swim at Grand Lake and at the bitterly cold, Atlas pool.

Lynn was a Stephen Minister and had a passion for bringing Christ's love and care to people during their time of need by listening, supporting, and encouraging.

Lynn loved to travel and was proud to say that he had been around the world 2 times. His travels lead him throughout Europe including Germany, England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, and Switzerland with his love Linda on five different trips. He particularly loved France. He visited Australia and Canada in the 70's for work and hunting. He traveled to Costa Rica with two of his daughters in 2008, visiting volcanoes and zip lining through the rainforest. He cruised to Alaska. When he and Linda bought an RV several years ago, he missed only a handful of states in his US travels.

Lynn had a great love of the written word and he instilled that love of reading in his children. He chiefly loved mysteries and historical fiction and anything by Daniel Silva. A Little Free Library https://littlefreelibrary.org/ is being constructed in Tallahassee, Florida by his granddaughter Ava to honor her grandpa (sure could use some help from her grandpa building this).

Lynn collected southwestern themed art. He, himself, painted and for a short time took a stab at stained glass. When he painted a cottage scene in the early 70's and not liking his own work threw it away, his daughter became obsessed in the 90's with his recreating the painting from her memory. He painted the cottage and it not being perfectly what she remembered, she mailed it back. He painted the cottage again with the same result. On the third try, when the painting came his daughter was sure that he could read minds. The painting hangs in her office today.

Bridge, board games, dominoes, cribbage...you name it, Lynn loved it. People fought over who would be his bridge partner. It might have been his knack for math that made him a superior bridge player. He was taught cribbage by his grandfather Stalnaker.

He had a life-long love affair with food. He loved all seafood, especially anything Italian. Living in Texas and Arizona he developed a love for Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine and all things spicy. His favorite candy was chocolate covered raisins but chocolate covered macadamia nuts were a close second. Celery and bell peppers were on his avoid list.

A long-time employee of Atlas Powder Company, Lynn started working in the lab as a young man and worked many positions at Atlas including supervisor of the powder line and quality assurance. He attended Webb City schools and graduated from Webb City High School in 1958. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry from Missouri Southern State College in 1969.

We thank dad for teaching us many things including how to: and when to use the big spoon or little spoon; mix oil paints; fish; float on our backs and swim; select a quality hammer and proper screwdriver; identify more than 30 edible fungus; and change a clutch, oil and brakes. We value that he taught us the importance of keeping our bodies fit. We appreciate his: common sense, enthusiasm, practical knowledge, that he was a dreamer who thought BIG, and that he believed that he was responsible for what he said, NOT for what people understood. We are thankful that he got to travel extensively. We love that he was a humble man.

Cecil Lynn Blankenship will be laid to rest at Osborne Memorial Cemetery in Joplin, Missouri. If you would like to make a donation in Lynn's memory, the family asks that you consider Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St, Phoenix, AZ 85014.
Published on August 15, 2017
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