Michael "Ray" Blankenship NEBO Michael "Ray" Blankenship, 53, of Nebo, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, due to a work related accident. Born in McDowell County March 20, 1960, he was the son of the late Palmer Blankenship and Luzeal "Gue" Blankenship, of Dysartsville. Known as a kind hearted and generous man, Ray was known to be a hard worker who started at a young age working with his father and brothers. He was co-owner and operator, along with his brother, of Blankenship Logging. Mr. Blankenship especially enjoyed sharing his love of logging with his special young men, Tyler and Karson. Ray was a member and deacon at New Manna Baptist Church, where he enjoyed serving as a bus driver and mechanic in the Bus Ministry for 27 years. In addition to his father, he is preceded in death by one brother, Billy Richard Blankenship. Mr. Blankenship is survived by, in addition to his mother, his loving wife of 20 years, Margaret "Muff" Blankenship, of the home; one daughter, Mandie Zarbano Pennell and husband, Shannon, of Marion; one sister, Debra Cox and husband, Bill, of Dysartsville; one brother, Palmer Blankenship and wife, Kandi, of Dysartsville; and a number of nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held Monday, Feb. 10, at 6 p.m. at New Manna Baptist Church, with Pastor Tony Shirley and the Rev. Steve Durham officiating. The family will receive friends from 5 to 6 p.m., prior to the service, at the church. Flowers are acceptable and appreciated. Those wishing to make memorial donations in Ray's memory are asked to consider, New Manna Baptist Church Bus Ministry, P.O. Box 1286, Marion, NC 28752. Westmoreland Funeral Home & Cremations is assisting the family with arrangements. An online register is available under "Obituaries" at www.westmore landfuneralhome.com.
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