WILMINGTON — Obbie Melvin Blanton Jr., 85, affectionately known as “Mr. B.” and “Poppy,” died Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, at home.
He was born Feb. 27, 1935, in Wilmington. He was the son of the late Obbie M. Blanton Sr. and Madeline Woodcock Blanton. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan Blanton Johnson; two grandsons, Shawn P. Dillon and Nick Dillon; sister, Sylvia Husky; and brother, Jesse M. Blanton Sr.
Mr. Blanton was a member of Sunset Park Baptist Church.
Mr. Blanton served 25 years with the Wilmington Police Department and five years with UNCW Police Department. He proudly served in the 252nd Unit of the North Carolina National Guard.
Mr. Blanton was a graduate of the University of Applied Science and attended Management School at Northwestern University and several other law enforcement schools. He was an instructor along the East Coast. He was certified by the courts in finger printing and handwriting analysis. He was a lifetime member of the New Hanover County Law Enforcement Association.
Mr. Blanton also worked 15 years as a school bus driver for Central Bus Division with New Hanover County Schools. He was also an activity bus driver for Cape Fear Academy.
Obbie was instrumental in the remodeling of the Wilmington Police Department building when it moved from City Hall to the old ACL building on Red Cross Street.
Obbie loved gardening and the time he spent with his children, especially the grand and great-grandchildren. They were the light of his life.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 65 years, Mary Evelyn Shipman Blanton; daughter, Toi Blanton Pettus (Brian); son, Obbie M. Blanton III (Valerie); son-in-law, Wiley Johnson; 15 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; sister, Patsy Malpass of Burgaw; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 4, at Andrews Valley Chapel. The family will hold a private graveside service at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Obbie’s memory may be made online or by mail to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.