Obituary: Ray Blankenship
Ray Junior Blankenship, 89, passed away on October 8th, 2020 at his home, surrounded by his loving sons Alan and Kevin.
Ray was born to Ray Oliver and Grace (Knudsen) Blankenship on July 1st, 1931 in Council Blu s, Iowa. Through a series of events (that he enjoyed mentioning at family gatherings), involving his father’s Moonshining, jail time and his Uncles breaking his dad out of jail; they eventually made their way to Southern California.
Ray graduated from Wm S. Hart High School and also worked at his dad’s auto repair shop. It was here that he met the love of his life, Mae Helen Zmirak. He was drafted into the Army in March of 1952 and a few months later married Mae at St. Columbkille’s Catholic Church in Los Angeles. Ray was stationed in Hawaii where he served his country as an M.P. He and Mae thoroughly enjoyed their time spent in Hawaii and returned to So. Cal. for the birth of their first son, Alan in 1954. Their second son, Kevin, arrived in 1956.
Ray spent several years working as a Draftsman for Los Angeles Water and Power which sent him to work in Lone Pine, Ca., where Stephen, his third son was born in 1962. It was here that he also became a Scoutmaster and enjoyed teaching his sons to hunt and fish.
Ray moved his family to Newhall, where they were close to Mae’s family and his brother Johnny. They were a close-knit family and enjoyed spending time riding motorcycles in the desert and sharing their love of the outdoors.
Ray eventually le Water and Power and became a partner with his brother Johnny as Electrical Contractors; a trade he would eventually pass on to his boys.
Ray was a longtime member of Our Lady of Perpetual Health Catholic Church as well as the Knights of Columbus. He especially enjoyed cooking for the Knight’s Sunday breakfasts.
Ray retired, travelled the country with their good friends Scott and Toni Franklin. He spent many days golfing with Scott, if there was a course to be found. Ray and Mae moved to Lake Shastina in 2005 where they very soon made many friends through their Holy Family Church, the Senior Group and the SIRS. They especially bonded with Larry and Lynda Barbieri and Bill and Margie Hayes.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Mae, in 2016, his youngest son, Stephen, in 1986 and his brother Johnny.
He is survived by his son Alan (Diana), son Kevin, granddaughter Masha, Grandson Jered (Alli), and his Great Grandsons Trenton and Tanner. He was loved and will be missed by many family members and friends.