Frank Irvin Blankinship Jr., of Fayetteville, WV, died Saturday, February 17, 2018.
Frank was born September 12, 1932, in Charleston, WV, the only child of Frank I. (Sr.) and Ethel Tweedy Blankinship.
He graduated from Charleston High School in 1950 and from West Virginia University in Morgantown in 1954. In 1953, he married Jacquelyn McWhorter, also of Charleston, to whom he would refer for the rest of his life as "my first wife, Jackie."
Upon graduation from college, he enlisted in the Air Force and served as a flight navigator, stationed in Harlingen, TX, Mexico Beach, FL, Cape Cod, MA, and Marietta, GA. He worked as an agent for McDonough, Caperton, Shepherd, and Goldsmith Insurance in Charleston, WV, then participated in a pilot project for Union Carbide Corporation in Ft. Pierce, FL, mining lime-based mineral deposits offshore in the Bahamas.
In 1969, he became president of Fayetteville Federal Savings and Loan, where he served until his retirement in 1989. In that position, he took a risk and provided financing for the first whitewater rafting operation in the New River Gorge, an industry that would transform Fayetteville and Fayette County. He was a member of the Fayetteville Rotary Club and the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. As president of the Chamber of Commerce, he oversaw the planning of the first New River Gorge Bridge Day event, which would become an annual tourist event and economic engine for the area. He is one of those honored - along with many of his friends - by a sculpture at the New River Gorge Convention & Visitors Bureau dedicated to those business men who helped to shape the modern-day Fayette Plateau.
Frank was an elder at Fayetteville Presbyterian Church where, for many years, he sang in the choir and served as treasurer. He loved golf, tennis, skiing, wood-working, hunting and fishing, especially fly fishing around Bolar in Highland County, VA, where he built the fishing "cabin" of his dreams. And he loved his family as Dad and Papaw.
In addition to his wife, Jackie, Frank is survived by three children, Frank III "Chip" (Anne) of Atlanta, GA, Beth Rudin (Jim) of Charlotte, NC, and James "Jay" (Debby) of Charleston, WV, five grandchildren, Annie Blankinship (Heath) and Jessy Blankinship (Matt), both of Charleston, WV, Frank Blankinship, IV (Hope) of Maryville, TN, Jacquelyn Holloway (Cody) of Bennington, VT, and Martha Ruelas (Joshua) of Merkel, TX, and eight great-grandchildren, Trent, Abbey, Daniel, Maddux, Roman, Zaya, Olivia, and Camille.
Arrangements will be handled by Dodd-Payne-Hess Funeral Home of Fayetteville. A service of Witness to the Resurrection will be announced on their website.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donation be made to Hospice of Southern WV at PO Box 1472, Beckley, WV 25802-1472; Fayetteville Presbyterian Church at PO Box 338, Fayetteville, WV 25840, or the charity of your choice.
For those wishing to express condolences to the Blankinship family, you may do so by visiting our website at www.doddpaynehessfuneralhome.com.
Published on February 19, 2018