Jesse's Story

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Graveside services for Jesse William "J. W." Blanton will take place at Laurel Hill Cemetery on Thursday, June 8 at 10 a.m. Rev. Dr. Tim Filston will officiate. Mr. Blanton died at his home on June 5. Born May 26, 1923, Mr. Blanton was the son of the late B.C. Blanton and Florence Clay Blanton. He was a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church and also a member of the VFW, the American Legion, Thomas County Historical Society, Thomasville Landmarks, and the Thomasville Genealogical and History Library. Mr. Blanton graduated from Thomasville High School in 1942 and volunteered and served three-and-a-half years in the United States Marine Corps during World War II. During that time, he was stationed for 21 months in the Southwest Pacific and the Philippine area of operations, and was the recipient of the following awards: Navy Unit Commendation Medal with two Bronze Stars, Philippine Liberation Medal with two Bronze Stars, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars, and the World War II Victory Medal. His career after the war was with the lumber industry for 56 years. He was employed by Balfour Lumber Company for 40 years and held the positions of secretary-treasurer and sales manager. During his employment with Balfour, he served on several boards. He also served on the Trade Promotion Committee of the Old Southern Pine Association, Trade Promotion Southern Forest Products Association, and the original Trade Board of Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers' Association. He later worked for Louisiana-Pacific for 10 years and as a private consultant for six years. In the early eighties, Mr. Blanton served as a member of the Thomas County Board of Commissioners. Known for his optimism, outgoing personality, and keen sense of humor, Mr. Blanton felt a strong sense of guardianship toward those who needed him, especially his family. He made friends wherever he went and kept them with him throughout his life. He was kind, generous, honest, and a true gentleman. These qualities earned him respect from his peers and love from his family and friends. Mr. Blanton was preceded in death by his first wife, Ruth Walker Blanton of Cairo in 1965, by his late wife, Wynelle Vinson Blanton of Moultrie in 2006 and also by three sisters and two brothers. He is survived by daughter, Elaine Blanton Oakes of Monroe; son and daughter-in-law, Clayton and Patricia Golden Blanton of Peachtree City; one grandson, Michael Blanton Oakes; three granddaughters, Larissa Oakes Pulliam and her husband Bryan, Sarah Blanton Detwiler and her husband Justin and Julie Blanton; two great granddaughters and several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, Mr. Blanton requested donations be given to the First Presbyterian Church of Thomasville, GA, 225 East Jackson St., Thomasville, GA 31792 or to the Thomas County Historical Society, P O Box 1922, Thomasville, Ga 31799. Visitors may sign the online guest register at www.allenfh.com.
Published on June 6, 2017
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