Stella Mae Buchanan Blankenbeckler, age 96 of Mountain City, TN passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter, Sherry, on Saturday June 9, 2018 following a lengthy illness. She was born in Nallen, West Virginia on November 24, 1921 to the late Rev. James Buchanan and Venia Alice Brookshire Buchanan.
Stella grew up in the coal camps of West Virginia, moving to Doe Valley community for a short while when she was a young teenager. She attended Johnson County High School and returned to West Virginia to live with her sister Onnie and work in a mining company store. When World War II broke out she worked for a defense plant in Maryland before joining the Navy in 1944. She served in the Naval Hospital Corps until 1946.
After completing her assignment with the Navy, Stella moved back to Johnson County, Tennessee, where she met James ‘Jim’ Blankenbeckler, who was also a Navy Veteran. They were married in September 1946, until his death in 2000.
Stella personified the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:10-31. Mawmaw’s kitchen was the center of the family home. She loved cooking and baking and serving wonderful meals to family and friends. She was also a skillful seamstress and a dedicated homemaker. Stella also worked outside the home, most notably at Ramsey’s 5 and 10 Store, The Old Johnson County Hospital as a nursing assistant, and at Food Country Deli, where she was known as the ‘biscuit lady.’
In all of her many years, Stella lived a dedicated and fruitful Christian life and was an inspiration to others. (Galatians 5:22-23). Though she possessed a quiet, gentle spirit, she was a prayer warrior for God, praying every night for her family members by name. She was a faithful member of Mountain City Presbyterian Church for over 60 years, where she encouraged people with her card ministry.
In her later years, Stella still enjoyed reading, beginning each day with her Bible and a time for devotions. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother.
In addition to her parents, Stella was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 54 years, James Sherwood Blankenbeckler, infant daughter, Wilma Jean, sisters, Onnie Adkins and Elizabeth Parks, and brothers, William E., Roy, Ray, and Dallas Buchanan.
Those left to cherish her memories include her daughters, Sherry Tester of Mountain City, TN and Nancy Pardue of Vilas, NC, son, James Blankenbeckler Jr. of Mountain City, TN, grandchildren, Michelle Threadgill and husband Tyler, Bridget Wagner and husband Shannon, Tammy Harmon and husband Tommy, Billie Jo Pardue and husband Ricky, Tim Tester and wife Barbara and Christy Boone and husband Mike, fourteen great grandchildren, four great-great grandchildren, special nephew, Fred Robinson and wife Wanda, and many more special nieces and nephews, special friends, Joyce Trivette, Joe and Carol Winebarger, Wilma ‘Sue’ Henley, Coye Canter, Loretta Stout, and very special dog ‘Bo’.
The family will receive friends from 2-3:00 p.m. on Wednesday June 13, 2018 at the Mountain City Funeral Home. Funeral service will follow at 3:00 p.m. with Pastor Con Sauls officiating. Special music will be provided by The Joyful Hearts. Graveside service and interment will follow the funeral at Sunset Memorial Park. Pallbearers will be Tim Tester, Tyler Threadgill, Ricky Pardue, Tommy Harmon, Joe Winebarger, and Shannon Wagner. Honorary pallbearer is Fred Robinson.
Stella was in the care of Amedysis Hospice for the last year of her life. The family is extremely grateful for the entire staff, especially to Mandy Ward, Stephanie Jones and Gail Miller. The family also wishes to express their appreciation to the staff of Hands to Help for their assistance and care during Stella’s last days. A very special thank you to our dream team of caregivers, ‘Our Sisters’, Peggy Johnson, Carolyn Adams and Mary Ward.
At other times the family will receive friends at 236 Willow Circle, Mountain City, Tennessee 37683. Condolences may be sent to the family through our website at www.mountaincityfh.com.
The family of Stella Mae Buchanan Blankenbeckler has entrusted her services to Mountain City Funeral Home, 224 S. Church Street, Mountain City, TN 37683.