Marcella Lorraine McDaniel Blankenship died Dec. 16, 2019, at Regional Hospital in Terre Haute, IN. She was born at home in southern Vigo County, IN, on May 18, 1940, to Margaret O’Hearn McDaniel and Richard McDaniel. She was the sixth of seven children, joining the family behind Juanita, Ramona, Richard, Theodore, and Russell, but before Stephanie.
Marcella is survived by her husband of 50 years, Norval Blankenship, who she married Oct. 24, 1969; her children, Bridget Rost (Brice Eckstein) of Terre Haute, Dennis Blankenship (Jenifer) of Greenfield, IN, Rosalie Blankenship (Lynn Goodner) of Avon, IN, and Rebecca Moore (Jimi) of Terre Haute; her stepchildren, Steve and Dave Blankenship, Ruby Watters, Debbie Sons (Michael), and Lauri Weatherman Woodall; her grandchildren, Aaron (Barb) Rost of Scott AFB, IL, Sylvia (Greg) Payton of Terre Haute, Whitney (Brandon) Hightower of Terre Haute, Michael (Kimber) Blankenship of Fishers, IN, Ashley (David) O’Rourke of Indianapolis, Katelyn (Tyler) Colglazier of Greenfield, IN, J.C. Moore of Terre Haute, and Colleen Maynard of Avon, IN; and her great-grandchildren, Eve Rost, Trysten and Rylynn Hightower, Hayden Payton, and Connor, Elizabeth, Jackson, and Fielden Blankenship, and Alice Moore; and many step-grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, all six of her siblings, and three of her stepchildren: Darlene Wilson, Richard Blankenship and Cerythia Banck.
Marcella was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to all. She loved to bake, cook, and care for her home and family. She was well-known for her potato soup, German chocolate cake, and pumpkin pie. She worked for 20 years as a housekeeper at Indiana State University. She also worked at CBS, Chesty Chips, St. Anthony Hospital, and Hills. Her favorite job, by far, was taking care of the people she loved.
She was a long-time attendee and volunteer at St. Margaret Mary and St. Patrick churches, Terre Haute. Despite struggling with dyslexia, she was an avid reader. She was a creative problem-solver who couldn’t tear herself away from an unfinished puzzle. She loved flowers, particularly annuals and heritage flowering shrubs. She loved to weed, often stopping to clean up a flower bed even when her health was poor.
During her 40s, she learned to ride a motorcycle her husband gave her for Christmas. She loved visiting car and tractor shows with her husband and the love of her life, as well as socializing with friends met through car events. During her 50s, a new hobby took over their lives: the restoration of a 1929 Model A Ford closed-cab truck. The antique car took them 6,400 miles coast-to-coast and to the top of Pike’s Peak, visiting 27 states and Canada, during many trips independently and with the Sycamore A’s. They made 18 runs at the Newport (IN) Hill Climb.
She loved traveling and spending time with her husband. In recent years, they were mainstays at Denny’s south. They acquired “their” table in the 2016 rebuild. Their new seats were the center of the dining room, where they could greet friends old and new. Members of the staff and their mid-day lunch crowd were a second family to Marcella and Norval.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Marcella Blankenship will be 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN. A reception featuring Marcella’s traditional holiday treats will be held immediately following (ending at 4:30 p.m.) In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Sisters of Providence, the Council on Domestic Abuse, or the Sycamore A’s.
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