Billy E. "Bill" Blankenship, 71, of Ashland, Ky., died Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005, in King's Daughters Medical Center of a sudden illness. 

He was born Sept. 7, 1933, in Jacobs, Ky., a son of the late Charles Blankenship and Laura Rice Bego of Soldier, Ky. 

He was preceded in death by a son, Michael Ed Blankenship, and a brother, Vernon Blankenship. 

He was an entrepreneur of many facets. He was a member of Globe Christian Holiness Church, El Hasa Shrine, Order of Scottish Rite, 
Grand Lodge of Soldier No. 708, Royal Order of Jesters Big Sandy Court No. 172, Elks BPOE 350 and Holiday Point Yacht Club. 

Surviving are his wife, Diane Hall Blankenship of Ashland; a son, the Rev. Mark A. Blankenship (Teresa) of Olive Hill, Ky.; 
two brothers, Kenneth Blankenship (Aileen) of Sandy Hook, Ky., and Ted Blankenship (Betty) of Soldier; 
a sister-in-law, Martha Blankenship of Ace, Texas; a sister, Donna Owens (Donnie) of Olive Hill; 
grandchildren, Crystal James and her husband, Jason, of Grahn, Ky., and the Rev. Mathew Allen Blankenship of Olive Hill; 
great-grandchildren, HanaLena Teres James, Caleb Grant Willie James and Myka Lashay Blankenship; and a host of nephews, nieces and special friends. 

The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, 2005, at Steen Funeral Home-Ashland Chapel and officiated by the Rev. Dale Carden, 
the Rev. Wilma Erwin and the Rev. Lewis Davis. Burial will be in Garvin Ridge Cemetery in Olive Hill. 

Pallbearers will be Mathew Blankenship, Vic Hopper, Bob Kee, Harold Kissick, Berry Knipp, and Roy Marks. 
Honorary pallbearers will be Harold Kelley, Kathy Kee, Danny Carey, Paula Dailey, Bill Ellis and Frank McCown. 

Friends may call from 5 to 9 tonight, Feb. 11, 2005, and after 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. 

Contributions may be made to Shriners Hospital for Children, 1900 Richmond Road, Lexington, KY 40502, First United Methodist Church, 1811 Carter Ave., Ashland, Ky., or Biven Chapel in Garrison, Ky. 

Submitted by: Linda Cheeks Pittano

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