Melba Jean Blankenship, a life-long resident of the Hood River Valley, passed away Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, at her home surrounded by family.
Melba was born Nov. 5, 1932, in Mount Hood, Ore., to John E. “Lige” and Clara Lillie Belle (Green) Smith. She was raised and attended schools in the Hood River Valley.
On May 29, 1948, she married Milo M. Blankenship in Stevenson, Wash. They were blessed with two daughters, Linda and Dianna.
Melba enjoyed square dancing with the Wy’east Whirlers, bowling, embroidery, sewing and family gatherings.
She loved and was loved by her husband of nearly 62 years, Milo Blankenship; two daughters, Linda Swyers of Mesa, Ariz., and Dianna Blankenship and her husband, William Rose, of Gearhart, Ore.; granddaughters Trishia Swyers Sissons and her husband, Jim, of Wenatchee, Wash., Kristin Goward and her husband, Kevin, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Kayla Schreiber, of Phoenix, Ariz.; and grandson Jarad Swyers and his wife, Karen, of Peoria, Ariz.
Also surviving are great-grandchildren Roman Sissons, Olivia Sissons and Darrin Goward; brothers George Smith, John Smith Jr. and his wife, Sally; sister, Pauline Rhyne; sisters-in-law Dora Margaret Blunt, of Marshfield, Mo., and Jackie Blankenship, of Sierra Vista, Ariz.; numerous nieces and nephews and many, many friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers; Chuck, Vic, Richard, Larry and Ross and sisters; Dorothy Smith Braniff, LuVada smith Bailey and Sylvia Smith Bailey.
Memorials can be made in memory of Melba to Hospice of the Gorge, the American Cancer Society or the American Heart Association and sent in care of Anderson’s Tribute Center.
A service to mourn her passing and celebrate her life is planned for 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, at Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit www.andersonstributecenter.com to sign the family guest book.
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