Anthony "Tony" John Blanda Jr.
July 31, 1949 – April 6, 2019
Anthony John Blanda Jr. (Tony) of St. Simons Island, GA passed away on April 6, 2019 at 5:12am at the age of 69. He was born on July 31, 1949 to Mr. and Mrs. Anthony John Blanda Sr. in Westerly, RI. He graduated from Westerly High School. After high school, he joined and proudly served his country in the United States Coast Guard for 20 years. He served as the Officer-in-Charge of the Coast Guard Station, St. Simons Island, from 1983-1987. He retired in 1988 as a Senior Chief after being stationed in San Juan, PR. Thirty-two years after his change of command, you can still hear people who knew him best refer to him as “Senior Chief.” After his career in the Coast Guard, Tony became an instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center – Driver Marine Division in Brunswick, GA. He also volunteered as a boating safety instructor for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. In his personal life, Tony Blanda was a faithful parishioner of St. William’s Catholic Church for 37 years where he served as an usher for 33 years. Additionally, he served on the church’s financial committee for a period of time. He committed a lot of his time to coaching his children’s sports teams. He actively participated as a Frederica Academy booster. He took a lot of pride being involved in his children’s and grandchildren’s activities. Tony will forever be remembered by Gail Blanda, his loyal and devoted wife of almost 45 years. Throughout his 5-year battle with melanoma cancer, Gail was his anchor and caregiver, and in his final days, he wanted his children and friends to know that he could not have picked a better life partner. Tony Blanda’s life of uncompromised integrity and honesty will forever be embodied in the lives of his three children: Julie Brown of Statesboro, GA, Anthony and Kristen Blanda of Suwanee, GA, Laura Eby and Matt of Decatur, GA; five grandchildren: Brandon Jayson and Mikey Denarde; Anthony John and Jordan Robert; and Dominic Matthew; mother, Dorothy Blanda of Westerly, RI; brother, Michael Blanda (Wendy) of Gulf Breeze, FL; sisters: Sylvia Blanda-Young (Walter) of South Kingstown, RI; Louise Wright (Bill) of Pawcatuck, CT; and Diana Smith (Cliff) of Westerly, RI. He is preceded in death by his father, Anthony John Blanda Sr. and brother, Samuel Ralph Blanda. The Blanda Family would like to express their deepest gratitude to Dr. Yushak and the incredible staff at Emory Winship Cancer Institute for the additional precious time and memories we were able to enjoy these past few years. Tony Blanda did everything in life the right way, from son and brother to spouse, father, and grandfather, to patriot of a great nation. He loved God, family, and country in that order and our love for him lives in our hearts forever. Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be sent to Golden Isles Hospice, https://hospice.me/giving/remembering-a-loved-one/gifts-in-memory, and Emory Winship Cancer Institute, https://winshipcancer.emory.edu/support-winship/give/memorial-gifts.html. Visitation will be held at Edo Miller Funeral Home in Brunswick, GA on Friday April 12, 2019 from 6-8pm. The funeral mass will be held at St. William’s Catholic Church on St. Simons Island, GA on Saturday April 13, 2019 at 10:00am. www.edomillerandsons.com
Tony will forever be remembered by Gail Blanda, his loyal and devoted wife of almost 45 years. Throughout his 5-year battle with melanoma cancer, Gail was his anchor and caregiver, and in his final days, he wanted his children and friends to know that he could not have picked a better life partner.
Tony Blanda’s life of uncompromised integrity and honesty will forever be embodied in the lives of his three children: Julie Brown of Statesboro, GA, Anthony and Kristen Blanda of Suwanee, GA, Laura Eby and Matt of Decatur, GA; five grandchildren: Brandon Jayson and Mikey Denarde; Anthony John and Jordan Robert; and Dominic Matthew; mother, Dorothy Blanda of Westerly, RI; brother, Michael Blanda (Wendy) of Gulf Breeze, FL; sisters: Sylvia Blanda-Young (Walter) of South Kingstown, RI; Louise Wright (Bill) of Pawcatuck, CT; and Diana Smith (Cliff) of Westerly, RI. He is preceded in death by his father, Anthony John Blanda Sr. and brother, Samuel Ralph Blanda.
- Visitation Friday, April 12, 2019
- Funeral Mass Saturday, April 13, 2019
Anthony "Tony" John Blanda Jr.
April 11, 2019
My parents lived next door to the Blanda's on St. Simons and Tony was always a great neighbor and friend. Seems like I would chat with Tony during almost every trip down from Atlanta, meeting in the yard between doing lawn chores. During my parents final years, I believe my brothers - who live closer by and were caregivers to my parents, had Tony on speed dial. Tony was a willing helper whenever a pressing need arose. I will miss my chats with Tony.
April 11, 2019
Tony was my Officer in Charge at Coast Guard Station St Simon Island Georgia in the early 80’s. Because of his leadership and devotion to duty we had an outstanding crew which was responsible for saving many lives during his time there. He inspired excellence. He initiated a major renovation in the Station and grounds which included an addition of a large bell mounted on railroad cross ties and prominently stood near the front slab with a Lyle gun and anchor. The bell is now assigned to Coast Guard Station Brunswick and is mounted near the entrance. Along with this he oversaw a whole new design in the landscaping for the unit which included the planting of several trees which still grow on the property. He was also instrumental in giving the Boat House a major overhaul. He wanted the Boat House to be prominent and loud as it was the first thing people saw when they came on the Island. So we painted the roof red and painted a big Coast Guard Stripe on the side which faced the river. It remained this way until it was destroyed by fire in 1995. I was fortunate enough to have had a chance to talk of these things and many others of days gone by with him just 4 days before he passed. We shared many fond memories of those times. He told me that he had dreams about those days. Then he smiled and said “I was always the good guy” That you were, “Senior”. Embrace thy friends, all is left in order well. To port no more returning, depart upon thy endless sea, Old Sailor. Randy
April 11, 2019
I am so sorry to hear Tony has left us. I worked with him at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy, Marine Division. He was one of the instructors a new instructor could look to for direction and sage advice. He was a man who you could trust on a handshake. For me, the world is a little less due to his departure. Tony, I wish you Fair Winds and Following Seas.
April 10, 2019
I was station with chief blanda in the early 80s. He was instrumental in promoting my career by allowing a very simple machinery technician to do other things in the operations department. Fairwinds and following seas into your eternal rest. Billy Mike
April 8, 2019
I left active duty in the Coast Guard after 11 years as an BM1. I stayed in the reserves and had the pleasure of augmenting at Station St. Simons Island. That is where I met Chief Blanda. I would rank him as one of two Chiefs that taught me the most during my CG career.
When Tony retired from the USCG he got a job at the FLETC where I had worked since leaving active duty. All tolled we worked together for almost 20 years. Tony was a friend, a co-worker, but, most importantly, he was a brother Coastie. Rest In Peace Senior Chief, we have the watch until properly relieved.
Philip Van Winkle
April 8, 2019
Tony and I were on recruiting duty together at the Coast Guard Recruiting Office in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a great worker and a wonderful person to work with. My condolence to his wife and family.
April 7, 2019
Dear Gail, Julie and Anthony and family,
Our deepest sympathy. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Love, Wiley and Mary Younce and family