BLANKE, Jack R.
Jack was born January 4, 1926 in Kalamazoo, the son of Arthur and Nina (Storms) Blanke, and passed away October 13, 2017 in Kalamazoo. A lifelong resident, Jack graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1943 and was extremely proud of serving for two years with the Marines in the Pacific during the latter part of World War II. Upon returning to Kalamazoo, he attended Western Michigan University where he received his B.S. Degree in 1950 and his M.A. Degree in 1954. Jack spent over 40 years in education, teaching first in elementary education, with Comstock Schools then switched to Kalamazoo Schools. He served as principal at Northglade from 1959-1964, Lincoln from 1964-1970, Oakwood from 1970-71 and Loy Norrix from 1971-1986. Jack also taught undergraduate and graduate classes at WMU. Following retirement he continued by serving as part-time development director of the Kalamazoo Public Education Foundation.
Jack was also very active with community service in Kalamazoo. Throughout the years, he served on several different boards including St. Agnes Foundling Home, Pretty Lake Vacation Camp, Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity, Gull Lake Country Club, Hospice, plus served as president of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Kalamazoo Public Schools Administrators.
Jack always enjoyed having a project to work on. He also enjoyed traveling, golfing, fishing, sailing and other water activities, but the most important part of his life was his family. Jack was preceded in death by his first wife Joan (Hastings) Blanke in 1990; by his second wife Leonella (Jameson) Blanke in 2013; and by his son Ronald L. Blanke in 2016. Surviving are his daughter Barbara (John) Gumpper; his step-daughter Chris (Kevin) Ostlund; seven grandchildren Katherine (Tom) Thomas, Linda (Chris) Stuut, John Gumpper, Ryan (Jami) Gumpper, Chloe Ostlund, Estee Ostlund, Phoebe Ostlund; and by four great-grandchildren.
In accordance with Jack's wishes, cremation has taken place. A Memorial Gathering will be held from 4:00 to 6:30PM on Wednesday, October 18th at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick Street. A private family entombment will be held in Mt. Ever-Rest Mausoleum. Memorials in Jack's memory may be directed to the Alzheimer's Association or to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.
Michigan Great Lakes Chapter
564 S Main St., Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan
222 N. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 100
Kalamazoo, MI 49007