Retired Command Sergeant Major Bennett Lee Blankenship, 83, of Lincolnton, N.C., died March 30.
Born in Burdine to the late Clarence and Sadie Van Horn Blankenship, he was a brother of the late Maxwell Blankenship, Gilbert Blankenship, Edith Powers and Vada Jackson.
He was retired from the Department of the U.S. Army where he served with the 82 Airborne Division, 101st Airborne, 1st, 5th and 7th Special Forces and spent five tours of duty in Vietnam, with a total of 23 years active duty.
He taught ROTC at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and was a member of Covenant Bible Church.
Surviving are his wife of 62 years, Annie Seate Blankenship; a son, Gary Lee Blankenship, and wife Debra Lee, of Vale, N.C.; two brothers, Willard Blankenship, and wife Roxie, and Frank Blankenship, and wife Judy; a sister, Judy Priddy, and husband Robert; a halfbrother,
Ronnie Gale, and wife Nancy; sister-in-law, Florence Blankenship; four grandchildren, Jon Holden, Stephanie and Jeremy Dean of Rossville, Ga., and Krystle Holden of Vale, N.C.; and six great-grandchildren, Nicholas Holden, Isabella Holden, Liam Holden, Mason Holden, Eli Dean, and Brynn Dean.
Funeral services for Mr. Blankenship were held April 2 at Warlick Funeral Home in Lincolnton, N.C.. Burial was in Forest Lawn Cemetery.