>h1 class=”title”>Lawrence “Jack” Blanton
Tragic and Early Death
Lawrence Blanton, 27, Fine
Citizen and Church Leader
Dies in Hospital
The Forest City Courier
June 7, 1934
Cliffside, June 5. – The people of Cliffside were grieved to learn Tuesday morning of the sudden death of Lawrence J. Blanton at the Rutherford Hospital, Rutherfordton, Monday night about 12:00 o’clock. Mr. Blanton was taken seriously sick at his home Monday afternoon, following an illness of a few days. At the hospital he underwent an operation for appendicitis but the trouble was a rapidly developing gangrene condition, which resulted in early death.
For many years Mr. Blanton has been a prominent figure in the welfare and the church life of Cliffside. Recently Mr. Blanton was appointed Democratic registrar at Cliffside and he served efficiently in the recent election. For many years he was prominent in the sport life of this section and won distinction in boxing and other athletics. These, however, were only side lines in his life, for it was in his church where he sought to render the largest service possible. He has been prominent in every department of his church and at the time of his death was superintendent of the Young People’s department of the Sunday school of the Cliffside Baptist church of which he was a member and a worker in the B.Y. P. U. and regular in attendance upon all the services including the mid-week prayer service.
Mr. Blanton was born December 26, 1907, the son of Mr. and Mrs. M. C. Blanton. He was married November 8, 1928, to Miss Juanita Crawford, of Cliffside, and on March 25, 1930, their happy home was blessed with the coming of Peggy, their fine and prominent little daughter.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Blanton leaves the following brothers and sisters: Mr. Bill Blanton, Spindale; Jim Blanton, Greensboro; Mrs. Forest Hamrick, Spindale; Miss Georgia Blanton; Mrs. Loy Wortman and Miss Lillie Belle Blanton, of Cliffside, and his wife’s father, mother and brother, Mrs. And Mrs. J. W. Crawford and son, Ralph, these with his wife and daughter and a great host of friends are grieved at his early and sudden death.
The funeral services were conducted at the Cliffside Baptist church at 4 P. M. Tuesday by his pastor, Re. J. A. Hunnicutt and his friend, Rev. H. E. Stimpson, pastor of the Cliffside Methodist church. The services were very appropriate for the closing of such a beautiful life and the gracious floral offering, with the it’s beauty reminded all of the cheerful disposition and pleasant smile with which Mr. Blanton greeted every one from his earliest childhood until his last breath, for he died with a smile of love and victory on his face.
The pallbearers were Clyde Kendrick, Robert Hawkins, Max Pruette, H. C. Beatty, John Tinkler and Francis Thompson.
The honorary pallbearers were the deacons of his church, D. S. B. Bridges, J. L. Scruggs, P. R. Green, D. B. Matheny, R. E. Wall, E. T. Combs, J. D. Brown, Chas. McCurry, T. L. Blanton, G. L. Goforth, J. B. Guffey, H. A. Ingram, C. S. Green, Lawrence McKinney, John Padgett, T. C. Ellis, C. A. Hamrick, P. C. Hawkins. In addition to the deacons the following general officers and department officers of the Baptist Sunday school: D. C. Whitaker, A. H. Lovelace, Miss Louise Lemmons, J. C. Hames, A. T. Roberson, Jesse Honeycutt, Franklin Harrill, Luther Campbell, B. B. Harris, Miss Emma Sue Crow, Mrs. Chas. McCurry, Miss Jessie Jackson, Mrs. Forest Bailey, Mrs. J. D. Brown, Miss Pamelia Pruette, Miss Muriel Carpenter and Mrs. D. B. Matheny.
The flower girls were Mrs. Lewis Black. Miss Catherine Kendrick, Miss Catherine Hawkins, Mrs. J. H. Brindle, Mrs. A. H. Lovelace, Miss Mildred Kanipe, Mrs. Jerome Harris, Miss Nettie Rea Guffey, Mrs. Marvin Sparks, Miss Muriel Scruggs, Mrs. Meredith Hawkins.
Tribute To Jack Blanton
By F. C. Thompson
From The Forest City Courier
Cliffside, June 13 — The beautiful Christian personality of Lawrence Blanton is very real to me as I am enshrouded by the conceptions of clouded horizons. That is the one thing which does not confuse. It is tangible and it is with me today. Twenty-six years old Jack Blanton, former lightweight boxer, was my pal; he was near and dear to me. Only a few weeks ago in this column appeared a paragraph regarding this princely fellow. [See below.] We wrote that paragraph in sincere admiration of Lawrence Blanton and as is characteristic of him, direct to the writer he came in his own honest, truthful and admirable style, to tell us how he appreciated the expression. Never failing in his acknowledgement he always told us of his appreciation as he did of all his numerous friends.
Jack Blanton was the truest friend this writer has ever known. Such an unreasonable thought that he is gone; the realization of it just does not come; that he must be gone just does not seem right; the reality of it all can not be grasped by one who loved Lawrence Blanton.
I am inclined to talk of Jack, as he was known formerly in boxing, since we were with him in many of his contests and knew how honestly he once wanted to establish a boxing career. A cleaner sportsman has never entered any field of contest. As a gentleman he was a Christian. His life has a great significance for me. In talking with him six weeks ago he said of his boxing career. “Well, F. C., sometimes our disappointments turn out for the best. I see now that it was best that I did not continue boxing”. This was said more for the encouragement of the writer as I had mentioned my disappointment of missing the Army Air Corps examination a few years ago. His thought was really one of encouragement toward his fellowman.
He has always been with the church work of the community—he was a Christian gentleman; what a goal for any man! With church and community activities he worked even more diligently than he had followed his scientific boxing routine. Everyone loved him; everyone knew him in daily life—the same Jack Blanton always!
It is the wish of Mrs. Lawrence Blanton to express through this column her deep appreciation and grateful acknowledgement of the many letters of condolence which came through the mails. Because the cards are not available of so many who brought flowers and called, it will be impossible to acknowledge all of them. Mrs. Blanton, however, wishes to tender this public expression of her sincere appreciation to all of you.
From Thompson’s May 9, 1934 column:
A tribute to a good fellow: He rather likes work; he never avoids it. He helps his fellows here in Cliffside. He is milk inspector and water works supervisor for this town—Jack Blanton. Jack Blanton, in the boxing ring, made himself a reputation as the squarest shooter ever to climb through the ropes. I believe he is the cleanest man who has slipped his hand into the mittens of the boxing business. With Jack on a recent Charlotte trip, I noticed the enthusiasm of the boys who have worked with him: they asked many questions. With his former associates, Blanton remains very popular. Jack’s work in the community now is commendable. Or, simply, Jack: You are O. K.
Clippings from The Forest City Courier courtesy Joyce A. Hunter