Nunnelee Funeral Chapel

205 North Stoddard, Sikeston, MO


Dr. Joseph C. Blanton

December 21, 1930July 29, 2020

Joseph C. Blanton, M. D. passed from this life into heaven on July 29, 2020. He practiced pediatrics in Sikeston, Missouri for nearly 60 years and was one of the nation’s most senior practicing pediatricians when he retired earlier this year. Dr. Blanton was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on December 21, 1930 to Harry and Maureen Daley Blanton. He grew up in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves while his father served four terms as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. While in St. Louis, he attended Holy Redeemer Grade School and the St. Louis University High School. Blanton played center on the Midget Football Squad and ran the half-mile. He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. When the family returned to Sikeston in 1946, he began attending Sikeston High School where he served as Senior Class President of the graduating class of 1948. While returning from a Charleston-Sikeston football game, he witnessed a serious traffic accident and decided then that he wanted to be a doctor. He attended St. Louis University and, after his junior year, was admitted to the St. Louis University School of Medicine where he graduated in 1955. While in medical school, he began dating Nancy Rose Raupp of Decatur, Illinois, a student at Fontbonne College. They married in Decatur, Illinois on June 16, 1956 and celebrated their 64th anniversary earlier this year. After graduating from medical school, Dr. Blanton worked for a year in a pathology lab and then began a residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and ultimately served as Chief Resident. He then served as a pediatrician in the U. S. Navy at the Portsmouth, Virginia Naval Hospital, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. When he finished his tour of duty in 1961, he returned with his family to his hometown of Sikeston, Missouri, joining the newly-formed Ferguson Medical Group and becoming its fifth partner. When he returned home, he became the second board-certified pediatrician between St. Louis and Memphis. He spent the next six decades taking care of children from all over Southeast Missouri including those with the most serious medical issues. He continued to work until his full retirement earlier this year at age 89. Thousands of patients will recall being referred to as “Darlin,” “Sweet Thing,” “Old Timer,” or “Tiger” during visits with Dr. Joe. With the limited number of pediatricians in the area, he took call every other night for thirty years. He never missed a day of work due to illness. Dr. Blanton was a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a member of the Missouri Academy of Pediatrics, and listed yearly in The Best Doctors in America. Governor Christopher Bond appointed him to serve on the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts. He served as the medical director of the Sikeston Regional Center for Developmental Disabilities, Chair of the Physicians Task Force of the Missouri State Department of Social Services, and a director of the Scott County Health Department. He also served as a member of the Sikeston R-VI School Board. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sikeston Chamber of Commerce in 2001. He is survived by his beloved wife, Nancy, of the home, four children, Joseph C. Blanton, Jr. (Felecia) of Sikeston, Dr. Mark Blanton of Sikeston, Madeline Blanton Kerr (Dr. Knox) of Jacksonville, Florida, and Dr. Kevin Blanton (Amy) of Sikeston. Dr. Kevin Blanton now practices as a pediatrician at Ferguson Medical Group in emulation of his father. Dr. and Mrs. Blanton have seven grandchildren including Mark Blanton, Jake Kerr, Cullen Kerr, Elizabeth Blanton, Luke Blanton, Grace Blanton, and Caroline Blanton. Elizabeth is a second-year medical student at the University of Missouri. He was very proud of all of his grand-children. Dr. Blanton is also survived by one sister, Anne Tlapek of Cape Girardeau, and two brothers, Judge Lewis Blanton (Barbara) of Sikeston, and Dr. Harry Blanton (Jane) of Cape Girardeau. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Maureen Daley Blanton, and his siblings Rosemary Barr Quatmann, Patricia Kavanaugh, Maureen Klein Graham, and Dr. John Blanton. Dr. Blanton enjoyed studying geneology and became proficient at using his computer to conduct research. He read constantly and favored history books and spy novels. He diligently followed the St. Louis Cardinals beginning his loyalty by taking street car rides to Sportsman’s Park and watching the games without a ticket as a member of the Knothole Gang. Dr. Blanton collected and read all of the Horatio Alger books which his father had read as a boy. He loved working in the yard both at his current home and in the Woods near his childhood home on North Ranney Street. He did all yard-work by hand to make the experience last as long as possible. He gave his primary focus in his later years to helping his family and attended all of his grandchildren’s school and other events without fail with wife Nancy and his son Mark. Dr. Blanton always put the interests of others first. The family wants to thank the priests at St. Francis Xavier over the years where Dr. Blanton attended Mass whenever the doors were open, his partners, employees, and many patients at the Ferguson Medical Group, his long-time nurse Ida Cowell, Almeter Marshall, Sandra Douglas, Lamar Douglas and the other family caregivers, the neighbors on Cotton Trace and other friends, and the extended Blanton and Raupp families. Visitation will be from 4 PM to 7 PM on Friday, July 31, at Nunnelee Funeral Chapel in Sikeston with a funeral mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church at 10 AM on Saturday. Dr. Blanton’s grandchildren will serve as pallbearers. Ben Swiney will be an honorary pallbearer. The family will host an Irish Wake in Dr. Blanton’s honor at the Blanton Woods on North Ranney Street in Sikeston at a later date. The family requests that memorial gifts be made to Birthright, 2633 Hopper Rd., Cape Girardeau, MO 63701, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 105 Stoddard St., Sikeston, MO 63801, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, www.stjude.org, or a charity of choice.


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


Dr. Joseph C. Blanton

have a memory or condolence to add?

Joan Chinnadurai

August 1, 2020

Dr. Joe will always hold a special place in our hearts, as do all the Blanton Family. His kind smile and words of encouragement never went unappreciated over the years. Dr. Joe wasn't just a caring pediatrician for both David and Jessica, he was an exemplary steward of faith in our religious community. His role as husband and father created a lasting impression on all who were witness to his extraordinary character. We are so grateful to have known such a remarkable person.
Dr. Joe, you will be missed.

Our love and condolences,
The George Chinnadurai Family.

Ginger Ashley Williams

August 1, 2020

Southeast Missouri has truly lost a treasure. So blessed to have Dr. Blanton take care of my children during their childhood.

Jackie Killion

July 31, 2020

I was a RN that worked the OB Department at MDMC from 1986-1989 and I loved working with Dr. Joe Blanton. It was always going to be a good night:/weekend when Dr. Blanton, Dr. Poole, and my husband Dr. Karl Killion (New Madrid County Group Practice) were on call.
Dr. Joe made every mom feel comfortable with her new baby.
Dr. Blanton took care of our daughter and I remember Little Darlin nickname.
The babies in the nursery were well taken care of when Dr. Joe, Dr. Joseph Kahn, Dr. Harrison, nurses Tripp, Bonnie, and Deann Stephens were all there.
Mo Delta and the entire Sikeston community have lost a great physician and pediatrician.
Our sincere condolences to the family
Dr. Karl and Jackie Killion Farmington MO

Pat Halsted

July 31, 2020

I send my condolence to my friend Joe Blanton Jr and to Matt and the family
he was a name to be well respected which i heard for many years
my prayers to the family and friends

Joe Kahn

July 31, 2020

I was privileged to work alongside Dr. Joe Blanton for seven years, from 1980 through1987. I was impressed when I began to work with him that Dr. Blanton was interested in learning from me. I had just finished my residency training and Joe wanted to learn new techniques and procedures. He had a lifelong love of learning, growing and most importantly of caring. Forty years later I realize that while I learned medicine in medical school and Pediatrics in residency I learned how to be a caring Pediatricians from Joe
Blanton. Dr. Blanton touched thousands of lives, mine included. The children of Sikeston and Southeast Missouri and the community of physicians were blessed to have Joe Blanton as part of our lives..

Dale Taylor

July 31, 2020

So Very Sorry for the passing of such a Wonderful Physician and A long time Friend whom I have known and worked with at MDMC for almost 51 years. I have never seen such dedication and caring from any human being as this Precious man shared with so many for so many years. I have admired this man for as long as I have known Him more than any man I have ever met in my years on this earth and I have met many. Sorry I could not make it to the visitation due to neuropathy in my feet and working today. Prayers and condolences for the Blanton Family. God Bless You in the loss of our Doctor Joe.

tammy bowles

July 31, 2020

I just wanted to send prayers to his family. Dr. Joe was a wonderful doctor. My son was born 5 weeks early. I was a new mom scared I would hate to think that I wouldn't have my son today. But with his knowledge and skills he was able to stabilize him and send him to St .Louis Children hospital. My son is almost 30 with children of his own. Both my children loved him .He was such a kind and gentle man. There no words I can say in your time of sorrow that will take the pain away. I'm deeply sorry and in time it does get better. I hope it comfort you to know he touch so many lives. He will truly be missed Thank You for sharing him Mrs. Blanton your husband was a fine man and doctor.

Colyn Wibbenmeyer

July 31, 2020

I have never seen Dr Joe ever get in a hurry until the day he had a blood test run on my daughter, Erin. I am sitting in the room with her on my lap. Dr Joe comes with the results. He sit down and reads them. He stands up and takes off running down the hall! He runs back to me with a big blue book. Starts flipping the pages and says “thank God. The specialist is at cardinal glennon hospital. We had an appointment the next day. He has watched over her ever since. Thank you for sharing Dr Joe with us.

Kim Mooney

July 31, 2020

My memory of Dr. Blanton will be a time that only us "baby boomers" will remember when you could smoke in the hospital. Dr. Blanton would sit at the nurses station with that pipe hanging out the corner of his mouth and you could see the wheels in his brain turning so that he could find the cure for some child's illness. The tobacco had a sweet smell that I'll never forget. God had a plan for Dr. Blanton and now God has called Dr. Blanton to a heavenly home. Praying for the Blanton family during this time of loss. May God's hands hold the family and give you peace.🙏

Donald Schuette

July 31, 2020

I have not seen Dr Blanton for many many years but remember him as a kind and always friendly man. It was a pleasure to know him and his wonderful family and wish them all to find peace with his passing. The memories of those that have passed live on in the hearts of those that remain.