Garrie Freeman Blanton, 84, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, teacher and friend died October 3, 2020, at Summit Square, Waynesboro.
Garrie was born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, on January 19, 1936. She grew up in the nearby, tranquil town of Spindale, surrounded by extended family, leading to relationships and memories cherished throughout life. She graduated from Rutherfordton-Spindale High School in 1954 and from The Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, in 1958, where she served as Senior House President and on the legislature’s Executive Cabinet. A lifelong educator, Garrie taught junior high in Michigan and Florida early in her career and later spent over twenty years teaching prekindergarten at Waynesboro High School and Wenonah Elementary. The award-winning prekindergarten program she taught sought to build a stronger foundation for disadvantaged children. Her nurturing, educating and loving so many Waynesboro kids for years may be her largest legacy but she also imparted to her own children the difficulties many of her young charges and their families faced, imbuing in Melanie and John a spirit of gratitude and generosity.
Garrie married Robert Glenn Blanton on September 11, 1964. Their journey, which ended with Bob’s passing in 2007, took them through South Carolina and Connecticut until they landed in Waynesboro. Like her mother, Garrie ran a small fabric business for many years in her basement, selling cloth to friends and chatting while children ran amuck between bolts of fabric and underneath sawhorse tables. Garrie thoroughly enjoyed sewing and crafts, with one of her crowning achievements a quilt for her parents’ fiftieth anniversary comprised of personalized panels commemorating family history. Garrie was a lifetime artist and art lover, teaching art in Florida middle schools, taking her own children to national galleries for various exhibits, and still working on a long-term painting of Bob’s gardening boots this year.
Garrie was a gardener and an excellent cook, canning vegetables for years and renowned for fried chicken, fried okra and other southern dishes. Garrie loved to read and travel too, but most of all, she loved her grandchildren. Even as her mind faded, calls always ends with her asking about the grandchildren and insisting that her love be shared with them. They all brought joy to her heart. Garrie was an active and faithful Christian her entire life, starting at Spencer Baptist Church in Spindale and lastly a member of First Baptist Church of Waynesboro, Virginia, where she served various functions.
She was predeceased by her husband Bob, her parents Norris and Juanita Freeman, and her brother Sam Taylor Freeman.
Survivors include two children, a daughter, Melanie Sisson and her husband , Denny, of Great Falls, and son, John Blanton and his wife, Melissa, of Roanoke; six grandchildren, Olivia Sisson, Phoebe Sisson, Alexander Blanton, Holden Blanton, Denison Sisson, and Madeline Blanton; her brother, Michael Freeman of Lake Tahoe, California, and her sister, Sandee Scarborough and her husband, Bob, of Little Rock, Arkansas; many nieces and nephews; and grandnieces and grandnephews.
Waynesboro has been, is and always will be a special place in the Blanton family’s hearts. Garrie wanted to be here in her waning days. Since this time of need arose, friends, neighbors, church members, and care givers have supported Garrie and the family compassionately, for which we are ever grateful. Garrie cherished her close and special friendships, many of which arose from her participation in a gourmet dinner group, AAUW, a sewing/quilting group, church or The Red Hat Society. The family sincerely thanks all of Garrie’s dear friends who spanned her lifetime for loving and befriending her. Very, very few things in life measure up to good friendship.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to First Baptist Church of Waynesboro Fellowship Fund, earmarked for Homeless Ministry, a mission to feed the homeless for which Garrie volunteered, or to any other charity benefitting the homeless and/or hungry.
A celebration of life service will be held at First Baptist Church of Waynesboro in the future.
Share memories and condolences at www.charltonandgroomefuneralhome.com.
Charlton and Groome Funeral Home, Fishersville is serving the family.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Garrie Freeman Blanton, please visit our floral store.
First Baptist Church of Waynesboro
301 S Wayne Avenue, Waynesboro VA 22980