John Manning Blanton, Sr., 73, of Saluda, passed away Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at his home following an extended illness. A native of Henderson County, he lived in Stedman, NC prior to moving to Saluda in 2000. He was the son of the late John William Lester Blanton and Leona Elizabeth Pace Middleton. He was also preceded in death by his step-father, Earl Middleton; a daughter, Amanda Christine Blanton; a granddaughter, Teresa Taylor; and a great-granddaughter, Tyra Elliott.
He was a truck driver with Sears, Thurston Motor Lines, Bowman Transportation,and Roadway Express, receiving many Safety Driving awards before retiring from Roadway Express. He was a volunteer fireman with Bethany Fire Department in Stedman for many years. He was a member of Mountain Page Baptist Church for many years. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and an excellent mechanic. He loved racing cars, enjoyed gardening and canning, and was a lover of animals and nature. He enjoyed doing for others without the expectations of anything in return. He was a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Survivors include his loving and faithful wife of fifty-one years, Judy Sumner Blanton; a son, John Manning Blanton, Jr. of Smithfield, NC; four daughters, Kimberlee Taylor of Wade, NC, Karen Culbreth of Stedman, NC, Joy Pridgen of Fayetteville, NC, Beth Cuevas of Hope Mills, NC; eight grandchildren, Tara Huggins, Timothy Huggins, Gary Taylor, Jr., Allison Taylor, Amanda Blanton, Dillion Blanton, Miranda Lucas, and Logan Blanton; eleven great-grandchildren; and number of nieces and nephews; and most dedicated friend, Steven Ray Smith of Saluda.
A funeral will be at 11am Saturday in the chapel of Forest Lawn Funeral Home. Chaplain Alan Taylor will officiate. Burial will follow at Mountain Page Baptist Church Cemetery in Saluda. The family will receive friends from 10 to 11am prior to the service in the chapel.
Memorials may be made to Four Seasons Compassion for Life, 571 S. Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731.