Gabriel “Gabe” John Lawrence Blankenship, of Salem, Ohio, went home on Sunday, October 16, 2016, while surrounded by his family and under the care of Select Specialty Hospital, Boardman Campus, who tended so gently to him for most of his journey following a July auto accident in Beaver Township, Ohio. He was only 22.
Gabe was born on April 29, 1994, in Charleston, South Carolina, a town he admired very much, a son to John D. Blankenship & Tammy S. (Wells) Garver.
He graduated from Salem High School in 2012 and had worked as a Shift Coordinator at Burger King in Salem, where he befriended anyone he crossed paths with, and considered many co-workers, as well as some special customers, his extended family.
He was ever so full of life. He enjoyed playing basketball, video games, especially Guitar Hero, having fun with anyone at any time, and getting into mischief with Josh Gatewood & Russell McCullough. As adults, he drifted on Big Wheels with his cousins as if they were youngsters, took spontaneous road trips and attended concerts at Nelson's Ledges with his brother and friends. He loved fishing with his buddies and exaggerating about the size of their catch on a lazy day. Gabe had an incredible gift of being a free spirit. He always said that he was from the south and liked spending time at Folly Beach.
He was a former member of the Crossroads Ministries Church of Salem, and during the summer months attended various camps as a child.
He will be sadly missed by: his father, John, of Alliance, Ohio; his mother, Tammy and step-father, Don Garver, both of Salem; his childhood best friend and brother, Michael J.L. Blankenship, Alliance; his paternal grandfather Lawrence “Poppy” Wells and his fiancée Theresa Monter, both of Salem; his sweetheart, Meghan Smith, Salem; and his numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, as well as his countless friends.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Ervin and Stella (Butcher) Blankenship; and by his maternal grandmother, Sandra (Cooley) Wells.
A time of gathering to honor Gabe will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 2 to 4 PM at Brown Funeral Home, 510 Jennings Avenue, Salem, Ohio 44460. A celebration of life service will begin at 4 PM. He will be laid to rest in Bethlehem Cemetery, Malvern, Ohio, during a private ceremony.
A very special heartfelt thanks to the trauma team at Youngstown Mercy Health SICU and the staff at Boardman Select Specialty Hospital who cared for Gabe with endless love and compassion during his 101 day battle for life.
Memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s choice and expressions of sympathy may be left for his family at www.bricelandfuneralservice.com
Coordination of this tribute for Gabe will be presented by Daniel Briceland, Owner & Director of Briceland Funeral Service, LLC, located on the historic village green at 379 State Route 7, SE, Brookfield, Ohio 44403 (330-509-3135).