US Navy


February 9, 1934 ~ April 7, 2022 (age 88)


Mr.Godfrey Johnny Blankenship, son of the late David Harford Blankenship and Ida Harford Robinson Blankenship was born February 9, 1934 in Devon, KY.  He attended school in the Mingo County, WV area and was a 1952 graduate of Williamson High School in Williamson, WV where he excelled on both the football field and the basketball court.  As a teenager, he professed his faith in Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior at East Williamson Baptist Church. After high school, he enlisted in the US Navy during the Korean War, serving proudly on the USS Joseph P Kennedy, Jr DD 850.  After his discharge from the Navy, Johnny was fortunate to attend Boise State in Boise, Idaho and Concord College in Athens, WV.  Later on in life and after his military service, he was a member of The Tin Can Sailors.

He was united in marriage to the love of his life, Sherrill Anne Adkins on April 15, 1961 and they would have celebrated their 61st anniversary this month. Their union was blessed with two daughters, Lisa and Lori.

Mr. Blankenship, fondly referred to as Johnny, retired from the Norfolk Southern Corporation (formerly the Norfolk and Western Railway) as an Assistant Regional Chief Claim Officer in 1996 after 40 years of service.  Following his retirement, Johnny enjoyed playing golf, gardening, traveling with Sherrill and visiting his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He will be remembered for his quick wit, his helping hand, the delicious fudge he made for his family and friends, and for his numerous reminder notes to his family, lovingly signed “GJB”.

Johnny departed this life Thursday, April 7, 2022 at Lewis Gale Medical Center in Salem, VA.  He was preceded in death by his unborn child, Baby Blankenship, father, David Blankenship, mother, Ida Blankenship, sister, Betty Dempsey and brother, Wade Blankenship.

His life will forever be cherished in the lives of his wife, Sherrill Blankenship of Roanoke, VA, daughters Lisa McDaniel(Dennis) of Martinez, GA and Lori Blankenship (Rick) of Forest, VA, grandchildren Joshua McDaniel, Lauren Roberts (Tyler), Rachel McDaniel of Grovetown/Evans/Martinez, GA, Kaitlin Ahrens (Luke) and Anna Blankenship and fiancé Jonathan Mayberry and great-grandchildren Haven Grace Ahrens and Henry Luke Ahrens all of Lynchburg, VA, brother Jim Blankenship (Betty) of Columbus, OH, sister Shirley Ammar (Fayaz) of Franklin, TN and brother David Blankenship(Karen) of Frisco, TX and a host of devoted nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends.

A Celebration of Life service will be held Wednesday, April 13, 2022 11am at Lotz Funeral Home and Cremations 1330 East Main Street, Salem, VA with a graveside service immediately following at Sherwood Memorial Park 1250 East Main Street, Salem, VA. 

The family will receive visitors at Lotz Funeral Home Tuesday, April 12, 2022 between the hours of 6pm-8pm. In lieu of flowers, family and friends may make donations In Memorium to the Disabled American Veterans or to the Tunnels to Towers Foundation; 2361 Hylan Blvd; Staten Island, NY 10306.



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of GODFREY J. BLANKENSHIP, please visit our floral store.


April 12, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Lotz Funeral Home Salem
1330 E. Main St
Salem, VA 24153

Celebration of Life
April 13, 2022

11:00 AM
Lotz Salem Chapel

Video is available for this event

Graveside Service
April 13, 2022

12:00 PM
Sherwood Memorial Park

Salem, VA

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