Alton Lee Blanton

Published 5:51 pm Friday, June 17, 2011

Alton Lee Blanton, 61, died on June 14, 2011 at his residence in Marion, Alabama. Services were held at 2 p.m. on Friday at Marion United Methodist Church in Marion with Greg Tinker, Dr. Larry Teasley and Dr. Gil McKee officiating, Kirk Funeral Homes Marion Chapel directing.

A reception will follow at Pleasant Ridge farmhouse. Blanton was preceded in death by his father, Judge Alton M. Blanton and his mother, Veni Weldon Blanton. He is survived by his wife, Diana (Danky) Davis Blanton and son, Alton (Al) Davis Blanton.

Blanton was a businessman, art and antique collector and an avid lover of Alabama’s Black Belt. In 1995, he and his wife, Danky, purchased the Bethea-Strother house, an antebellum home in Canton Bend, Alabama.

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They lived there for four years before purchasing Kirkwood Mansion, an antebellum home in Eutaw. The couple lived in Kirkwood for almost a decade and conducted tours of the house and grounds. Blanton continued to maintain commercial and residential rental property in Jasper.

He was particularly known for his knowledge of antebellum homes and antiques and enjoyed singing Southern gospel hymns at Kirkwood. In August 2009, the Blantons sold Kirkwood and purchased a condominium in Tuscaloosa and turn-of-the-century farmhouse in Marion.

Blanton was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2009. He battled valiantly against this disease for nearly two years. His courage despite his condition was a blessing to those around him, particularly his immediate family. Relying on James 5:13-16 for physical healing, Blanton was anointed with oil on December 12, 2010. His condition improved for several months following the anointing.

Blanton’s sparkling wit, keen mind, and interest in people forged many cherished friendships and brought forth conversations filled with laughter. His untimely death is a loss to his many friends and to this community.

Blanton was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church and a loving father and husband. Pallbearers include Randall Alsabrook, Kirtley Brown, Bill Trick, Dickie Odom, Gene Raburn, Freddie Epp, Greg Aldridge, David Harmon and Norris Sears.

Honorary Pallbearers include Houston Pearce, Dr. John Miller, Jeff Donaldson, Dr. Joe Boggess, Dr. John Simmons, Jerry Gardner, Judge Hoyt Elliott, Hal Hunt, Rusty Richardson, Donnie Jones, Sam Houston, Gary Walters, Charles Hill and Jimmy Reynolds.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the United Methodist Children’s Home of charity of choice.