|Birth: ||Dec. 20, 1925|
|Death: ||Sep. 15, 2009|
buried in Nashville, TN in Spring Hill Cemetery
The Daily News Journal
Yvonnie June June Wheeler Blankenship
Sep 15, 2009, Age: 83
Yvonnie June Wheeler Blankenship, Educator, Speaker, Writer, Beloved Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, died Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009 in Nashville. Mrs. Blankenship is fondly remembered as a former Columbia resident and teacher during the period her husband was minister of Riverside and First United Methodist Churches.
The family will visit with friends Thursday from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at Oakes and Nichols and Friday at 10 a.m. at Brentwood United Methodist Church, Franklin Road. The funeral service will follow at 11 a.m., with Bishop Robert H. Spain and Dr. David Miller officiating. Burial will be in Spring Hill Cemetery, Madison. Notes of sympathy may be sent to www.oakesandnichols.com. Memorials may be made to McKendree Village, designated to the Fund for Widows of United Methodist Ministers, 4343 Lebanon Pike, Hermitage, TN 37076.
She was born on Dec. 20, 1925, Pikeville, TN, the third of seven children of the late John William and Flora Blanche Hampton Wheeler. Raised in Chattanooga, Mrs. Blankenship graduated from Central High School in 1943. She attended the University of Chattanooga, where she majored in pre-medicine and home economics. From 1946-47, like so many other young women after World War II, she took a year off to earn money for her final year in college. That year, she taught chemistry and home economics at Greenback, TN. She finished at Middle Tennessee State Teachers' College, graduating in 1948 with a B.S. in general science and home economics. She accepted a position as assistant home demonstration agent for Maury County, through the extension service of the University of Tennessee. That October, at the 4-H Club Banquet held at the newly-built Riverside United Methodist Church in Columbia, Miss June Wheeler met its handsome, young preacher, Fred Blankenship, from Hardin County. They married on October 2, 1949, enjoying 60 years of married life.
In various locations across middle Tennessee, Rev. Blankenship "preached to the multitudes," but Mrs. Blankenship fed them and taught their children and grandchildren. She taught school and Sunday School for children and adults; organized United Methodist Youth Fellowships and 4-H clubs, Bible schools, and Brownie troops; and served in various leadership capacities in the United Methodist Women, serving as president of the United Methodist Women in every church to which she belonged. For 21 years, she served as president of the Retired United Methodist Ministers' Wives Association of the Tennessee Conference. She was also a member of Metro Nashville Education Association and Phi Delta Kappa Honorary Society as well as numerous garden and home demonstration clubs. She was a member of Brentwood United Methodist Church.
An exemplary teacher, having received the M.Ed. degree from Tennessee State University and awarded the Teacher of the Year Award at Percy Priest Elementary School, June Blankenship could "teach a rock to read," as one of her principals proclaimed. She taught everything from first grade to high school general science and chemistry at the following: Santa Fe High School, Highland Park Elementary, and Baker Elementary (Maury County); Five Points (Lawrence County); East Side Elementary (Bedford County); and Paragon Mills, Haynes, Waverly Belmont, Inglewood, and Percy Priest Elementary Schools (Davidson County). She shared her knowledge and skills through her book she co-authored, "Help a Child Learn to Read." After her retirement from the public schools, Mrs. Blankenship was the director and longtime board member and board chair of the Day School at Forest Hills United Methodist Church.
An excellent cook and hostess, she could prepare a meal for 40 or 400 with equal grace and charm. Before her death, she had just completed a manuscript, "Dinner on the Grounds", with many of the old recipes and historical vignettes from 19th and 20th century Tennessee Methodism. Even though Mrs. Blankenship had been limited in her activities these last 18 months, thanks to the wonderful care of The Cumberland Assisted Living staff, she was able to extend her lifelong ministry to others, until the last three days of her life.
Survivors include Rev. Blankenship of Nashville; daughters Judy and husband George Cheatham of Greensboro, NC, Julia Rich of Nashville, Freda and husband John Evans of Nashville, Freddie and husband Douglas Summers of Murfreesboro; and the late Martha Jean and husband George Ferguson of Pulaski; Grandchildren include Sarah Hampton and Dayton Cheatham, Matthew King and wife Trisha, Amelia Lawrence, Keith Evans, Kerry Evans and wife Emily, Megan and husband Robert James, Peter Ferguson and wife Emily; nine great-grandchildren; and many beloved nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law. Of the seven Wheeler children, she is survived by sister Juanita Whitney-Harding of California; brothers Wade, Glenn and Bernard Wheeler, and predeceased by sister Billie Looney and brother John L. Wheeler, all of Chattanooga.
Pallbearers are grandsons Dayton Cheatham, Matthew King, Keith Evans, Kerry Evans, and Peter Ferguson, and nephews Gerald Wayne Hopper and Joe Wheeler.
Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home, 931-388-4711
Forest Hills Cemetery
Created by: Kathline York Forrester
Record added: Sep 25, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 117629620