James Warren Blanning


Posted: Sunday, June 04, 2006


  James Warren Blanning

James Warren Blanning

Longtime Alaskan and Kenai resident James Warren Blanning died Tuesday, May 30, 2006, at Heritage Place in Soldotna surrounded by his wife and children. He was 84.

A memorial service and reception were held Saturday, June 3 at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church in Kenai. His ashes will be scattered at his favorite fishing place outside of Nome.

Mr. Blanning was born May 31, 1921 in Seattle, where he was raised and graduated from Lincoln High School. He moved to Alaska in 1942 and served in the Alaska Communications System branch of the U.S. Army Signal Corp for 20 years. He was stationed in Fairbanks, Point Barrow, Anchorage, Nome, Kotzebue, Kodiak, Juneau and returned to Nome for the final 16 years of service.

He continued his career in civil service as an administrator. He moved to the Kenai Peninsula in 1973 and went to work for Morgan Steel until 1983. He was a member of Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church, Boy Scouts of America, Rotary Club International, Nome Chamber of Commerce and Toastmasters of Nome.

He received the Silver Beaver award from the Boy Scouts and numerous military commendations. He enjoyed his family, carpentry, reading, fishing and camping.

“Dad will be remembered for his sparkling sense of humor, love of family, devotion to faith, community involvement and his passion for life. He always sang whatever song was in his heart, even if he didn’t know the words. Dad was a tremendous role model who always had a positive outlook on life. Even as his health deteriorated, Dad still remained young at heart and sharp of wit. We are grateful for the time we had with Dad and truly believe he was a special gift,” his family said.

Mr. Blanning was preceded in death by his parents, Warren and Constance Blanning; sisters, Beatrice Ulbrickson and Jean Townsend; brother-in-law, Barrow Morgan; and son-in-law, Lowell Gdula.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Beverly Blanning of Kenai; son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Lory Blanning of Fairbanks and their children Patrick Johanson of Nome, Jeannie Mahlen of Fairbanks, Sheila Miller of Illinois, Breanne Harbison of Fairbanks and Deanna Stewart of Fairbanks; son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Leslie Blanning of Nome and their children Crystal Lie of Nome, Stephanie Blanning and David Blanning, both of Nome; son and daughter-in-law, Mark and Kenda Blanning of Kenai and their children, Kelvin Blanning and Breanna Blanning, both of Kenai; son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Cindy Blanning of Wasilla and their children Jarek and Blake Blanning, both of Wasilla; daughter, Jean Gdula and her children Chris Gdula of Wasilla and Kari Gdula of Soldotna; 12 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations may be made in his name to the charity of choice.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.

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