Philip Edmond Blankenship, age 86, of Nixa, Missouri, went home to be with the Lord, Wednesday, September 20, 2023. He was born September 4, 1937, in Poplar, Montana to William Mark and Rose (Seeds) Blankenship and grew up in the Wolf Point, Montana community.
He joined the military when he was 17. A special service in the Navy, among many others, was the deep-sea salvage diving. He qualified and joined. After 4 years of service, he returned to Montana.
He was united in marriage to Marlene Heinrichs on October 21,1959. The oil boom was active in those days and Philip worked several years on the rigs. One evening after work and in his hotel room, he picked up the Gideon Bible and challenged God to show him who he was. A bolt of electricity from his raised hand sent him to his knees as his answer.
He took flying lessons from Albrights Flying Service and earned his Private Pilot’s License in Roundup, Montana. Later became a commercial pilot and flight instructor. He attended the Northrop Institute of Technology in Inglewood, CA and graduated with an A/P (Airframe and Powerplant) degree. He attended and graduated with a BA degree from the Golden State University in Downey, CA. He attended and graduated from the Christians in Action Missionary School in Long Beach, CA.
Guatemala was his first assigned mission field. While there, the devastating 1976 earthquake happened. As a pilot, he with his private plane helped many survivors and the government pinpoint the hardest hit areas.
Hard, dedicated work, and together with his co-workers a Christians in Action Mission was established there. The mission and the work are still on going and growing.
He also served in Iquitos, Peru, first under the umbrella of Bruce and Gail Unterschutes, then with World Missions Far Corners also two years were served at the Christians in Action mission in Germany, and a short time in Okinawa. He was a counsellor to both international and local workers. He was the life of the party and yet admired by showing how the life of a Christian can be fun.
Survivors include: His wife Marlene: two daughters, Phyllis Dilley and husband Dan of Nixa and Penny Kreitzer and husband, Tom also of Nixa: grandchildren, Michelle (Jason) Tenney, Michael (Emily) Dilley and Matthew (Nicole) Dilley: seven great-grandchildren Ryan Tenney, Journey Tenney, Amber Tenney, Miley Dilley, Malachi Dilley, Asher Dilley and Seth Dilley; A sister Marilyn Droke and husband Don: nieces and nephews: other relatives and many friends.
Philip was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Melissa, brothers and sisters, Gwen, Mark, Ruthie, Esther and his parents.
A Memorial Service will be at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, October 24, in Adams Funeral Home, Nixa. Prior to that his family will attend burial services at Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield, under direction of Adams Funeral Home, Nixa.