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Obituary – Gatha “May” Blankenship

Gatha “May” Blankenship,” 82 years old, daughter of Oliver Morton Shepherd and Lucy Ann (Holden) Shepherd. May was born on May 3, 1940, in her home near Montauk, Mo. She passed away at her home in Licking, Mo., on December 23, 2022.

May was preceded in death by her loving husband, Fredrick Blankenship; her parents, Oliver and Lucy; three sisters, Ruby Walker, Faye Trolinger and Goldie Fielder; four brothers, George Shepherd, James Henry Shepherd, Edward Shepherd and Bob Shepherd.

May is survived by her son, Bradley Gene Blankenship, and wife, Kim of Lenox; two grandsons, Sean Douglas Blankenship, and wife, Donna, of Salem, and Quin Patrick Blankenship of Lenox; one great grandchild, Mia Blankenship of Salem; one sister, Sylvia Blankenship of Licking; and one sister-in-law, Velma Shepherd of Montauk.

May grew up in the Licking/Montauk area where she met and married Fredrick Blankenship on July 18, 1959. They remained together until Fredrick passed earlier this year. They had one son, the light of their lives, Bradley.

May married Fredrick and worked at Rawlings Sporting Goods for many years. When she retired, she lived a simple life with Fred, making quilts, collecting dolls and whatnots. She enjoyed making doll clothes and fixing them up like new. Many family members treasure the quilts given to them by May.

Fred and May’s door was always open with a cup of coffee and good conversations inside. May was a good family historian and never forgot special dates and birthdays. She glowed when her grandchildren were around, she read to them, taught them poems and told them stories. She also loved to tell other stories about them, always with pride.

May enjoyed her time with her siblings and their families. She believed family ties should be strong and hers were. She loved you all very much. In the end, May was lost without Fred at her side and missed him dearly. May was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She was loved by all and will be missed by those who loved her.

A visitation for May was held on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, from 12 -1 p.m. at Fox Funeral Home, 128 S. Main St., Licking. A funeral service followed at 1 p.m. with Brother Mike Gorman officiating. Pallbearers were Sean Blankenship, Bobby Shepherd, Billy Shepherd, Kevin Fielder, Scotty Shepherd and KatLynn Shepherd. Interment followed at Craddock Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Fox Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at

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