Thomas Pennington ‘Penn’ Blanton

Published 9:00 am Friday, March 29, 2019

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Mr. Thomas Pennington “Penn” Blanton, 34, of Cana Road, Mocksville, died Monday, March 25, 2019 at his home.

He was born Nov. 3, 1984 in Rowan County to Mary and Ted Blanton of Salisbury. As a boy, he was loved by children, peers and adults, and he returned it. He was bright, witty and mischievous. Inseparable from his two older brothers, they named themselves the “Three Amigos,” which always made their parents smile.  His sister, Eliza, nicknamed him “Sweetums,” the only brother to receive a nickname from her. A graduate and student body president of Salisbury High School, he afterwards enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for six years. There he pursued his lifelong avocation: weather forecasting. Stationed at Naval airbases, he served as an aerographer’s mate, measuring and forecasting weather for Navy pilots. He then graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA), majoring in government. He loved great political contests, here and abroad.  He remained a staunch conservative and knew how to make, and take, a political joke. After his time at UVA, he spent a year working for a government contractor in Afghanistan, managing aerostats, small blimps that measured critical weather statistics as well as carrying secret military surveillance equipment. For the last five and a half years, after marriage, he lived with his wife, Emily, on her family farm near Mocksville. He worked as a technology/operations analyst with Vitacost, a Kroger Company. He also worked alongside his wife to help build and manage a cut flower farm, Cana Farms. True to form, wherever he lived in private life, he installed complicated weather stations.

Also surviving: his wife, Emily Hunter Blanton; 2 brothers, Lt. Commander William F. Blanton and John Blanton; a sister, Eliza Blanton; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Eugene and Brenda Hunter; a brother-in-law, Michael Hunter; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins; and 2 special aunts, Anne Rutherford and Terry Rutherford.

A funeral service will be conducted at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 30 at Eatons Baptist Church with Dr. David Gilbreath officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors conducted by the U.S. Navy and the VFW Memorial Honor Guard. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. The family will receive friends at a reception in the fellowship hall following the graveside.

Memorials: Davie Community Foundation, PO Box 546 Mocksville, Memo: Thomas Pennington Blanton Memorial Scholarship.