PENDLETON, S.C. – Retired Colonel James E. Blessing, 84, died at his home on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2000.
He was born on Nov. 12, 1916 in Scott County, Va., the son of the late John and Ethel Taylor Blessing.
Col. Blessing was a graduate of Clemson University with a degree in dairy science. He helped set up the famous blue cheese production in Stump House Mt.
He was affectionately known as “The Colonel” around the Clemson area. He played on the 1939 Cotton Bowl team.
After graduation he served his country as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Marine Corps. As a member of the Edson’s Raiders he fought at the battle of Guadalcanal. After being wounded in Sept. 1942, he was evacuated to a Navy hospital. In December he was ordered to Guam as a co-commander with the Second Engineering Battalion for their operations and landing on Iwo Jima. After completing that operation, he returned to Guam and was sent to occupy southern Japan at Sasebo.
Col. Blessing was awarded the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation with three stars, the Navy Citation with two stars, the American Defense Medal, the Pacific Campaign Medal with four stars, the Occupation Medal, and the American Campaign Ribbon.
Col. Blessing was a retired consultant with Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
He was an active member of numerous civic organizations and served on the advisory board of the Boy Scouts.
Col. Blessing was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Kingsport and was presently serving as elder at Pendleton Presbyterian Church.
Col. Blessing was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Dorothy Walker Blessing.
Surviving are daughters, Suzan B. Simmons, Seneca, S.C., Terry B. Cheatham and husband, Sam, Lexington, S.C., Mary B. Orton, Laurens, S.C., Sarah B. Burns and husband, Gary, Pendleton, S.C.; grandchildren, Rachel and B.J. Orton, Leigh and Will Cheatham, Matthew and Cameron Burns, Johnathan Simmons and wife, Natalia, and Lauren Simmons; one sister, Frances B. Reed, Kingsport; three brothers, Hugh Blessing, Collinsville, Va., A.L. Blessing, Blountville and Gordon Blessing, Kingsport.
A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m. today at Pendleton United Methodist Church in South Carolina with visitation following the service.
A military graveside service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Wednesday in Oak Hill Cemetery with the Rev. Paul Blessing officiating.
The family will receive friends at Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home, downtown, immediately following the graveside service at Oak Hill Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Pendleton Presbyterian Church, Pendleton United Methodist Church, or the 1939 Cotton Bowl Team Scholarship Fund.