James Vernon Blakely, 86, a cherished father and the husband of Elizabeth Ann McCants Blakely, went home to be with the Lord, Saturday, August 28, 2021 at his home surrounded by his loved ones.
Mr. Blakely was born the son of Thomas Eleon Blakely and Illa Mae Foxworth Blakely on May 21, 1935, in Williamsburg County. He was born the second of three siblings, Jackie and Vera. He was a 1954 graduate of Andrews High School and a 1955 graduate of Bailey Technical School of St. Louis, MO. He was a retired Supervisor with the Andrews Wire Mill. He was a faithful member of the Trinity United Methodist Church where he served in numerous activities and committees including the Lew Mills Sunday School Class, Church Usher, Men's Fellowship, and the Church Pastor Parish Relations Committee. He enjoyed serving as a cook for the Men's Breakfast Clubs on Thursdays.
He considered one of his greatest accomplishments to be his time as an Honor Guard in the United States Army. During his service, Army Pvt. Blakely was selected as one of the Honor Guards for the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and for the Honor Guard Saluting Battery for Military Funerals, Parades, and Unknown Soldier Ceremonies. He loved to share how he served in the historical 1958 Unknown Soldier Ceremony under President Eisenhower and the day he served during the visit of Queen Elizabeth.
Vernon was a Southern Gentleman whose life defined a character of honor, respect, and integrity. His family and friends were blessed by his joyous and humorous personality, his compassionate heart, and his contagious smile that brighten every room. Faith and family guided his steps making him a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, cherished brother, and a loyal friend.
Vernon and Ann were married on November 19, 1959 and will celebrated 62 years together as of this year. Their home was blessed with: four children, Mark Blakely (Ann), Lisa Ray (Leon), Derrick Blakely, and Andy Blakely (Lisa); eight grandchildren, Leslie Fore (Jerry), Lee Ray, Ashlee Blakely, Austin Blakely, Michala Blakely, John "JC" Blakely, Jack Langston, and Daphne Graham; seven great-grandchildren, Ashlin, Jaxson, Addi, Liam, Trent, Kierstin, and Baizley; and loved as his daughter, Tina Blakely-Bruce.
He leaves behind: two sisters, Jaqueline "Jackie" Walters and Vera B. McDaniel; and a large number of nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by: his parents; and a son, Derrick.
A Service of Death and Resurrection with Military Recognition will be at 11 AM, Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at the Trinity United Methodist Church. Officiating will be Rev. Jeff Roper and Rev. Ben Gafford.
Internment with Military Honors will follow in the Andrews Memorial Cemetery directed by the Andrews Chapel of McKenzie Funeral Home.
The Blakely family will greet family and friends 6-8 PM, Monday evening, August 30, 2021, in the Family Life Center of Trinity UMC.
Memorials may be made to: Trinity United Methodist Church, 205 South Rosemary Ave., Andrews, SC 29510 OR Hospice of Georgetown, OR Tidelands Community Hospice, 2591 North Fraser Street, Georgetown, SC 29440.
McKenzie Funeral Home is honored to serve the Blakely family.
Published by Georgetown Times on Sep. 3, 2021.