Collier-Butler Funeral Home

824 Rainbow Drive, Gadsden, AL


James Robert Blanton Jr.

September 27, 1924September 7, 2019

James Robert Blanton Jr, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on September 7, 2019 at his home in Gadsden, AL.

James was born on September 27, 1924 in the Tabor Community on Lookout Mountain. He retired from Republic Steel after working as a welder for 42 years, was a proud member of the Steelworkers Union, and was a dedicated member of Gadsden Christian Fellowship.

James had the unique ability to touch people in a meaningful and positive way. He lived for Jesus, shown daily through his words and actions. James enjoyed Auburn football, Braves baseball, Andy Griffith, spending time with friends and family and especially his “men’s coffee & fellowship” with his buddies, Bill Ross, Gary Jones, Harold Laney, and Terry Southern. He will be remembered as a devout Christian, loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend to all, always willing to help someone in need.

Blanton was preceded in death by first his wife, Betty Jo Bussey, and later by second wife, Jeanne Culver; parents, Ida. S. and James R. Blanton Sr.; sisters, Ruth Smith, Neva King, Vera Bobo, Dorothy Curry, Nell DeVine; brothers, Troy, Loyal, Reuben and Pete Blanton.

He is survived by his daughter Connie Blanton Means, step-daughter Jana Thornton; grandsons, Taylor Means, Coby (Chasity) Thornton; great-grandchildren, Cheyanna, Cherokee, Creek Ann, Cayson, Cash; sister-in-law, Jerre Blanton; many nieces and nephew; and dear friends who are considered family, Karen (Hideo) Takada, Randy Michael, & Jackie Lambert.

Special thanks to Erma Blaylock, Summer Carnes, LJ Jordan, Bobbi Reynolds, Randy Michael, Kindred Hospice, Dr. Jaiswal, Jessica Strange, and all of the nurses and staff of the 7th & 8th floor of Gadsden Regional Medical Center, who took such good care of James during his final days. You have been a blessing to our family and we are grateful and thankful.

The family will receive friends at Collier Butler Funeral Home from 1 – 3 pm on Wednesday, September 11, with the service beginning at 3 pm. Pastor Johnny Johnson will officiate. Burial and a brief graveside service will follow at Crestwood Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Taylor Means, Coby Thornton, Bill Ross, Gary Jones, Harold Laney, and Terry Southern.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Gadsden Christian Fellowship for the “James R Blanton memorial fund”, 719 Nunnally Ave, Gadsden, AL 35903. All donations will be used to build a covered-entry, which was a need dear to his heart, as he would always stand out front of the church to welcome everyone.


  • Connie Blanton Means, Daughter
  • Jana Thornton, Step-Daughter
  • Taylor Means, Grandson
  • Coby (Chasity) Thornton, Grandson
  • Cheyanna, Cherokee, Creek Ann, Cayson and Cash, Great Grandchildren
  • Jerre Blanton, Sister-in-law
  • Karen (Hideo) Takada and Randy, Michael and Jackie Lambert, Dear Friends
  • Betty Jo Bussey Blanton, First Wife (deceased)
  • Many nieces and nephews left to cherish his memory.

  • James R. Blanton Memorial Fund


  • Visitation Wednesday, September 11, 2019
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, September 11, 2019


James Robert Blanton Jr.

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Karen Takada

September 10, 2019

James Robert Blanton was my second Daddy. My brother Randy and I was so lucky and blessed to have the influence of this kind and loving man in our lives. He was there for us for all of the big events... graduations, weddings, birthdays, the loss of our parents (and his best friends). He was our family historian. He remembered our childhoods like it was yesterday. He loved to tell and retell the misadventures of Randy and Karen. He had so many memories of life with Betty and my parents, James and Doris Michael. These memories sustain us now. He is with Michael, Betty and Jeanne and my parents now. He has carried on alone for so long and now he is home. It is our job to tell the story of this wonderful man. We were all lucky and blessed to be in his orbit. Rest well Daddy. You are so loved.