Peaceful 09
Official Obituary of

Wilma Joann Blankenship

July 29, 1940 ~ February 21, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Wilma Blankenship Obituary

Wilma Joann Blankenship, 83 of Virden, IL, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

She was born on July 29, 1940 in Taylorville, IL, the daughter of Lester and Mary Lucille (Feco) Blankenship.

Wilma was a 1958 graduate of Feitshans High School and then continued her education in the medical field at Springfield Junior College before earning her degree from Quincy College.

While furthering her education, she gained valuable work experience at Bud’s Clear Lake Super Mart in Springfield – where “Willie” formed lifelong friends with the Van Der Wals and Houses plus countless lifelong memories. Once graduated, Wilma had an extensive career in the medical laboratory field from serving as laboratory technician and supervisor at several Springfield hospitals and medical clinics to her culminating position as CLIA laboratory inspector for the State of Illinois, where she retired in 2002.

Wilma was bit by the travel bug early on and traveled throughout Europe including England, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Germany, Ireland and more. In her travels to Czechoslovakia in 1988, she became interested in genealogy and became the “official” unofficial family historian having traced the roots of her Blankenship and Feco ancestry back to the 1600s England and Czechoslovakia.

Her greatest love was spending time with her family and friends. She treasured the time with her siblings especially playing cards until the early hours on the weekends to spontaneous trips to the casino, mixed with the usual sibling ribbing and rivalry even in their later years. The reminiscing and trips down memory lane were always told with each sibling giving a different take resulting in laughter and sometimes passionate opinions.

Her commitment to family was never more present than with her nieces and nephews. Wilma was known to do anything for them as they were her pride and joy. No one ever knew where she might take them whether it was going on a cruise to attending the Ford Centennial Celebration to going to the John Deere Museum. She loved seeing and hearing about all their activities and achievements, beaming with pure delight as each achieved successes in their own lives.

Outside of her family and work, she had many interests and talents including playing Bunco with the “Bunco Babes”, teaching painting lessons, taking remarkable photos, archiving for the local library, serving on the local school and library boards, and promoting the local arts through band/art boosters. She was a true renaissance woman!

Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Geraldine Hullman, Shirley Lewis and Mary Kay Enrietta, and a brother Ronald Blankenship.

She is survived by a brother Lester Junior Blankenship; sister-in-law Shirley Blankenship; close nieces and nephews Angela (Gary) Marsaglia, Christopher Blankenship, Jason (Natalie) Blankenship, Mary Jane Enrietta, Anthony (Jen) Enrietta, Justin Enrietta, Nicholas Enrietta, and

several other nieces and nephews, along with several great nieces and nephews, plus dear friends Linda Coombs and Joyce Blank.

Private family graveside services will be held with the Very Reverend Christopher House officiating. Burial will be in Virden Cemetery next to her parents.

A Celebration of Life for Wilma will be held in the spring and extended family and friends will be notified.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of the donor’s choosing.

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