Robert Eugene “Bob” Blankenship, 87, of Mooresville, N.C., died Thursday, November 3, 2022. Bob and his wife Vernell celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in October.
Born in Charleston, W.Va., he was the son of the late Ira French Blankenship and Essie Mae Morrison. After graduating Charleston High in 1953, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served in the 82nd Airborne, based at Fort Bragg. After returning home, he went to West Virginia Tech for barber school. After trying his hand at haircuts, he decided to enroll at ECPI in Cleveland, Ohio, to learn computer programming. He ultimately moved to Charlotte to work for JP Stevens, then Duke Power, where he was an IT specialist.
Bob was a classic car enthusiast, and he always had a vintage auto in his garage. He restored cars, including a 1940 Mercury convertible, a 1950 Ford sedan, a 1969 VW Bug, and a 1946 Ford coupe. He won an award for at least one of his restoration projects. He loved tinkering with cars and attending car shows. He would spend all day at the annual Food Lion Auto Fair at Charlotte Motor Speedway and any other car show he could find.
Building birdhouses and feeders was another of his hobbies. He enjoyed sitting by the window and watching the birds flock to his creations. He was an avid reader. His favorite books were mysteries and Christian fiction.
He doted on his grandson Alec Ingwall, the light of his life. When Alec was very young, Bob would dress up as Santa Claus every Christmas Eve and visit the youngster. He stopped when Alec was old enough to ask why Papaw always disappeared when Santa came over.
In addition to Vernell and Alec, he is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Teresa and Bruce Ingwall of Mooresville; and a sister, Goldie Ellen Blackwell and her husband Richard, of Sun City, Ariz. He is also survived by several beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Rochell Blankenship; siblings French Allen Blankenship and Charles William Blankenship, twin brother, Thomas Wesley Blankenship; Elizabeth Ann Hayes and Nancy Louise Albert.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2022, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory, Mooresville, N.C. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. with Pastor Georgianne Hartline officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Back Creek Church, PO Box 620052, Charlotte, NC 28262 where Bob was a member. Contributions can also be made in his memory to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 28105 or a charity of your choice.
Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory, Mooresville, is serving the Blankenship family. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cavin-cook.com.