Betty Mae Blankenship

June 21, 1923January 26, 2019

Betty Mae Tench Blankenship

June 21, 1923-January 26, 2019 La Jolla, CA

Betty Mae Tench Blankenship passed away peacefully on January 26, 2019 at Sunrise of La Jolla at the age of 95.

She was born June 21, 1923 to Wesley Tench a World War I veteran and Florence Wonn Tench in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Betty was both a woman of her time and ahead of her time. She worked in a rubber factory during World War II and later joined the Army where she met her husband and lifelong love, William C. Blankenship of La Jolla, an Army colonel. She was discharged from the Army in 1946, and the couple was married at St James by-the-Sea, La Jolla. They settled in La Jolla on the land Bill’s grandfather, John Robert Sumner, an early settler, deeded to him and were happily married for over 53 years.

Betty was active and outgoing and enjoyed many sports, including skiing, water skiing and square dancing. She also belonged to a bicycling club and often treated her friends and family to meals out. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and was an educator with the San Diego Unified School system for over 20 years. She mentored many young people while teaching girl’s PE at Marston Junior High school. In the 1970’s she obtained her master’s degree in counseling from San Diego State University and worked with students at Muirlands Junior High School in La Jolla as well as other schools.

Betty retired from the school system around 1980 and became a travel agent with Bill. Together the two of them traveled the world and enjoyed helping their clients plan exciting trips. After retiring from the travel agency Betty remained active well into her 80’s and could be seen ushering at the Old Globe Theater along with her sister-in-law, Hope Beason.

She is preceded in death by her beloved husband Bill (1999), her father Wesley, mother Florence, brother Louis, sisters Ruth White and Florence Menefee, and her beloved niece Cheryl Schmidt. She is survived by her sister-in-law Eileen Tench of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. And she is survived by a large and devoted family of nieces and nephews and their families, including but not limited to, the Blankenship families of San Diego, Northern California and Colorado (Susan, JoAnn, Janet, Stephanie, John, Laurie, Robin, Theresa, Daniel and Timothy), the Morris families of Kansas (Kathy and Carl Morris) and the Beason/Moynihan families of Chicago and San Diego (Beth, John, Bill and Vickie).

Her loving, supportive and generous spirit will be sorely missed. There will be a celebration of life for Betty in June 2019. Donations in honor of Betty may be sent to The San Diego Zoo, The San Diego Humane Society, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and The American Lung Association.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Betty Mae Blankenship

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William Beason

February 6, 2019

Trips to the cabin in Big Bear to learn how to ski and stay overs at Uncle Bill and Aunt Betty's House in La Jolla to learn how to surf are some of the greatest memories I have of my childhood. Uncle Bill and Aunt Betty never had children but treated all their nephews and nieces as if they were theirs and we're always there if you needed them. The last of the Blankenship wives and the last of my Blankenship uncles and aunts oh, the last of the generation before me and my cousins. Orphans now, all of us. Our last and one of our brightest stars extinguished, we now must continue on, using your love and memory guide us.
Forever your nephew, William Beason