By now, I guess, you’ve heard that I stepped out of this life on Wednesday, February 27 around 5:30 am in the stillness of a private room at Logan Regional Hospital. Also, bet you didn’t think you would be hearing from me this soon or reading an obituary written in first person. Unique you think? Read on. I had a lot going on that you could see…and a lot going on that you could not see. It’s what you couldn’t see that I am not allowed to share with you, but I will tell you it was all amazing. In fairness to you, you should know my life was much more than an obituary.
I was born in Bradshaw, WV to Abraham and Virginia Blankenship, both of whom I loved, on October 27, 1934. I was born during the era of “Children should be seen and not heard” and I thought I was a mute child for a long time..just joking of course.
I learned early on that life would be a challenge and I would have to be resilient. I couldn’t quite explain to my grade school teacher that I had vision problems, not learning problems. Thankfully, after they kept moving me closer and closer to the chalk board (yep, we had chalk boards back then) they finally figured out…I needed glasses! Wore them the rest of my life, but still looked gorgeous, even in glasses.
I also learned early in life that God was my Father and my very best friend. I come to know Him at such an early age, I can’t actually recall a specific day, month or year. But, I am sure He kept accurate records. My early family years had some turbulence, so having God as my best friend was the best thing a little girl could ask for.
We had no iPhones in those days…in fact, very few phones. So, we all used to gather at a community center for movies and other fun. Well, at the ripe age of 12 (did I just say 12), I met a boy named Hersel. Who would have dreamed that we would marry when I was 14 (uh…did I also just say 14) and he was 17, that we would have four children and spend the next 70 years together? Can you see now how great a Father God was throughout my life?
I loved everyone my Heavenly Father placed in my life. My husband, Hersel from 12 to 84 (and beyond), my oldest daughter, Carolyn and her husband, David, my next oldest daughter, Gail and her husband, Roger, my son, Arville and his wife Georgetta and my baby girl Debbie (not to be confused with my puppy) and her husband, Delmer. The children of my heart gave me a myriad of grandchildren and great grandchildren. I ranked right up there with the old woman who lived in a shoe.
And, of course, I loved my church family dearly. I joyously worked at the Sharon Heights Assembly for many years and created a lifetime of memories with people who owned my heart. I wish I had time to name them all because each one was important enough to me to be named. If you are reading this and were ever in my presence, I am thinking of you as one of those important ones. Each of you carried me with your love through the years. And now I am being carried to my final resting place by some who I must just mention: Those “really” carrying me: Roger Cline, Darren Cline, David Hatfield, Alex Blankenship, Gordon Carter, Mick Endicott, Greg Blevins and Eric Lester; those who are my honorary carriers: James Fields, Pete Cline, John Toler and Thurman Tolliver.
I must also express my heartfelt thanks and love to those who helped me in my more recent difficult days: Fern Carter, Marsha Hatfield, the wonderful people of Logan Regional Medical Center and Dignity Hospice and, of course, my kids and their families. And, a big hug to my wonderful puppy, “Baby Girl”.
I am celebrating as I write in the presence of angels, others will be celebrating the lives we shared together this Saturday, March 2, at Sharon Heights Assembly, my home church, at Hampden, WV. They have set the celebration time at 11:00 am to 12:00 pm for family celebration, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm for friend celebration time and 1:00 pm for a celebration ceremony with my son, Arville, officiating.
I have always loved flowers, especially yellow roses, but I would be honored if you would take the money you might spend on flowers for my life celebration and just donate that money to the church you attend. God loves all His children…and so do I!
I’ve had a wonderful life and thank you to all who made it so.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Juanita (Blankenship) Cline, please visit our floral store.