|Birth: ||Aug. 22, 1950|
|Death: ||Nov. 10, 2012|
Christine "Chris" Ann Blankenship died Nov. 10, 2012, at Tri-Cities Chaplaincy House in Kennewick after a brave fight against ovarian cancer.
To her friends, Christine was known as Chris, Christy, Cookie, Mom and Grandma. She was born on Aug. 22, 1950, in Richland, to Edgar and Margaret Wood. Chris spent her childhood in Richland, graduating from Richland High School in 1968. Although she lived in other parts of the state and in New Mexico for a short span of her life, Richland always had her heart.
The reason being: her love for her family. Even as a precocious girl, she spent time visiting her family. This love for family carried through her adulthood. She was surrounded by her family, living in south Richland with Terry, her husband of 41 years; nearby to her two sons, Eric and Mark, and her mother, Margaret (Luther) Wood, of Richland; and her in-laws, Bane and June Blankenship, of Kennewick.
Chris grew up in a family that liked to laugh and have fun. Her father, Edgar C. Wood, her aunts, uncles and cousins all had great senses of humor and many were practical jokers. She inherited that sense of humor and loved to have a good time.
Chris met Terry as a freshman at Central Washington State College in 1968. Terry watched Chris sitting in the dining hall for several weeks. Chris noticed Terry and asked friends about the guy with the "smokin' look in his eyes." She came to find out that Terry, known on campus as the "The Red Baron" was from Kennewick. Chris took the initiative to ask a shy Terry to a dormitory function. Before the function, they decided they should meet and get to know each other, so they met one afternoon for a talk. They immediately felt so comfortable with each other that it was like two old friends chatting. They married on December 12, 1970, after dating six months and a six-month engagement. Chris was 19 and Terry was 20.
Chris and Terry moved into an apartment in Ellensburg while Terry finished school. Chris worked as a car hop at A&W and babysat to help put Terry through school. Between her work and Terry's work at a gas station, they didn't have to borrow any money for school.
After graduation in 1972, Chris and Terry moved to Seattle. They welcomed their first child, Eric Thomas Blankenship, on Oct. 30, 1973. Chris immediately fell in love and made a commitment to devote herself full time to her family. As a new couple, money wasn't easy to come by, so they only had one car. Terry traveled extensively in his job, so Chris would bundle Eric up in a backpack and walk up and down Queen Ann Hill to the store, carrying both Eric and groceries.
Chris missed the Tri-Cities and wanted Terry to get a job with less travel, so in 1974, they moved back to the Tri-Cities. The job was better and so was the money, so they started looking for a home to purchase in Richland. Terry's dad, Bane Blankenship, was in real estate and was helping them find their ideal home. After looking at several houses without finding "the one," Bane called with what he considered to be a great deal on a house. A young builder had built a new house, but it just wouldn't sell. The bank was about to foreclose on the home and Bane said they needed to look at the house right away and thought they could get a good deal before it was foreclosed on. Chris took one look and said, "I'm not buying that house." It was painted orange and had orange shag carpet. With some convincing and a promise to paint the house immediately, Chris and Terry bought their first house. Chris worked to turn it into a home she could be proud of. After moving into their home, Chris gave birth to their second son, Mark Edgar Blankenship, born Feb. 14, 1977.
After the kids were in school, Chris worked and volunteered. She was a judge's advocate for children in the Casa Guardian Ad Litem program at the Benton Franklin Juvenile Justice Center. She also worked in clerical and administrative positions in the same program. For many years, Chris was an aerobics instructor with Joyce's Body Shoppe and with Columbia Basin Racquet Club. For several years, she also volunteered at her home church, Cathedral of Joy.
Chris was particularly proud of her sons as they grew into adulthood. Both Eric and Mark married and settled in Richland. Mark married his high school sweetheart, Jessica (Parsons) Blankenship, and Eric married a Tri-City transplant, Genoa (Sibold-Cohn) Blankenship. Both women became like daughters to her.
Chris' love cup was filled to capacity with four lovely children, or so she thought. Then her first grandchild appeared. Chris cared for her oldest grandchild, Ben, during his first year when Genoa worked. She became attached to him in a way she didn't think was possible, except with her own children. Two years later, her granddaughter, Berit, was born and Chris now had her first glimpse at what it is like to raise girls. She was blessed with her third grandchild, Cannon, 3, who adored his grandmother.
Chris wanted people to know that the two most important things in her life were her deep love of her family and that she was a devout follower of Christ. She loved her family so deeply. She devoted herself to caring for her husband, her two boys, her two daughters-in-law, her three grandchildren and her grand dogs.
Her family wants those who know Chris to remember these things about her. Chris was tender, yet tough. She was the example of the kind of person you wanted to become. She was always there when someone needed her. She was the one that would heal the hurt. She devoted hours to PTO and other school activities to support her kids and would drive the carpool of kids to ball practice. She was the one that would make the snacks for halftime at games. She was the one that would defend her children if they needed someone in their corner. She was the one that would temper what Terry wanted to say, so it had impact, but wouldn't spoil the message by the way it was presented. She was the one that spent countless hours at football games, baseball games, cross country races and track meets. She was the one that babysat her grandchildren and volunteered to work in their preschool. She was just THE ONE.
For a good part of Chris' adult life, she was searching for something greater than herself -- something that she could hang on to when times were tough; something that would provide peace when she needed it. She found that in Christ and became a devout follower. This had a profound impact on her life. It gave her the peace and serenity she was searching for and gave her the ability to pass it on to everyone she came in contact with. Chris credits her grandmother, Olive Luther, with providing her with the example so that she could find this great gift for herself. Her grandmother was also a follower of Christ and you could see kindness and love in her eyes and felt peaceful and calm just being near her. Chris had the same gift.
Chris is survived by her husband, Terry; son Eric and daughter-in-law Genoa; son Mark and daughter-in-law Jessica; mother Margaret (Luther) Wood; sister Janet (Wood) Asbridge and brother-in-law Bob Asbridge; father-in-law Bane Blankenship and mother-in-law, June Blankenship; and grandchildren, Ben, Berit and Cannon. She also is survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Edgar C. Wood, and her older brother, Michael Wood.
Chris' family sincerely thanks all of those at Columbia Basin Hematology & Oncology and The Chaplaincy/Hospice House who showed so much tenderness and compassion during these difficult times.
A celebration of Chris' life has been planned for 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, at Cathedral of Joy, 1153 Gage Blvd., Richland.
Express your thoughts and memories in the online guest book at www.einansfuneralhome.com
Edgar C Wood (1927 - 2002)
Margaret Alice Luther Wood (1929 - 2014)
Michael Ed Wood (1948 - 2004)*
Christine Ann Wood Blankenship (1950 - 2012)
Created by: Della Meize
Record added: Nov 15, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100764407
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.