Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

Gary R. Blanton

Gary R. Blanton, age 69, of Shelby, went peacefully to be with the Lord on Wednesday night, May 5, 2021 at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital after a brief illness.

Gary was born March 18, 1952 in Mansfield to the late Hade and Dorothy (Tackett) Blanton. To sum up Gary’s life, there were two things of importance: family and music. Since childhood, music has been part of his life. He began singing at the age of 17 with his family, known then as the Gospel Crusaders and now as The Blanton Family. Since 1969 he has traveled the country playing in thousands of churches and festivals spreading the gospel message through his music ministry. Gary especially loved to sing at funerals and bring comfort to families in their time of sorrow and grief. Music was everything to him.

Gary thoroughly enjoyed his working career in construction and was the owner of Blanton Home Improvement. He also relished time spent trap shooting with his grandson, Curtis.

Gary is survived by his wife of 51 years, Donna J. (McClain) Blanton, whom he wed on October 11, 1969; his daughters: Pam (Steve) Brown of Mansfield and Dorothy (Doug) Oyster of Mansfield; grandchildren: Curtis Oyler, Mason Oyster, Douglas Oyster, Jr., and David Oyster; his special fur-baby children and grandchildren: Gibson, Biscuit, Smokey, and Pebbles; his special sister: Sandy (Martin) Spurgeon of Ontario and siblings: Shirley Sutton of Mansfield, Phyllis Blanton of Shelby, and Harold (Judy) Blanton of Mansfield; family friend: Lynn Wallace; special nieces and nephew: Jessica (Marc) Daugherty, Melissa Spurgeon, Alisha (Steve) Clay, and David Blanton; special great nieces: Nevaeh Spurgeon, Johanna Daugherty, and Kallee “Roxy” Daugherty; in-laws: Carolyn Blanton, Marian Blanton, Cheryl Blanton, Lorie Blanton, and Rhonda and Lee Johnson; and numerous other relatives and friends. In addition to his parents, Gary was preceded in death by his 5 brothers: Vernon, Robert, Charles, Thomas, and Michael.

Family and friends are welcome on Monday, May 10, 2021 from 1-3 and 6-8 pm at the Cornerstone Freewill Baptist Church, 1602 Walker Lake Road, Ontario, Ohio 44906, where funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 11 am. The family kindly requests that those attending wear masks. Revs. Lucian Baker and Rick Keesee will officiate the services with burial following in Oakland Cemetery in Shelby. For those wishing, memorial contributions may be made to the church.

Care for Gary and his family is being provided by the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby, Ohio 44875. Appropriate ways to express sympathy for those unable to attend may be done by leaving an online condolence on Gary’s obituary at or by leaving a comment on his post on the funeral home’s Facebook page,

Memories & Condolence

  1. Mike and Karen Barnett says:

    Our hearts are heavy for all the Blanton family. Gary blessed many with his songs. He was very talented his voice will be missed. May your hearts be comforted in knowing he walks with God. We will continue to keep you in our prayers

  2. Angela baker says:

    My prayer and thoughts are for you all it truly hard losing a loved one I pray the lord fills your spirit with peace and comfort hugs to all

  3. Sherry Gushard says:

    Pam and Donna. So sorry for your loss. Prayers to you and the Blanton family

  4. Penny Heitzman Bricker says:

    Donna so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.

  5. Regina Irey McCammon says:

    Prayers for all. I will forever cherish the memories, all the way back as a child Donna you remember watching Glen and I? Then as I got older those silly brothers seem to follow and brighten my days over the years, no matter where I worked. They’d sing to me, tell me jokes and always pray for me. Now they’re together again. Singing, telling jokes and praying for all of us. Until we meet again ❤

  6. Pam Lynch says:

    Donna and the rest of the family… I’m shocked to read this. I’m so sorry about Gary’s passing. Your family will always have a special place in my heart. You have my sincere condolences and prayers.

    Pam Lynch
    Sue Wetz

  7. Mindy Utz says:

    My deepest condolences.

  8. Debra &Hershel Rowe says:

    So sorry for your loss,he was sweet man and love make people laugh,he will be missed ,love here him sing especially when get excited and jump up down ,prayers for the family and his wife especially ,our pastor once said no one complains they get heaven to soon,I truly believe that and knowing where their going is such a great comfort to his family ,if he was here to speak “he would say get ready my children ,its so beautiful and glorious in Heaven with Jesus” “until we meet again my friend ,
    The Rowes

  9. Janita Caskey says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Gary’s passing. I have great memories of him and the group. I can still see him walking from the back of the church to the pulpit singing the three rusty nails. The Blanton Family will always hold a special place in my memories.

    Fly high with the Angels my brother… join that heavenly choir.

  10. Harvey&Judy Martin says:


  11. Lisa Ferguson says:

    My prayers to you and your family. May you find strength and comfort in the arms of Jesus Christ our Savior. May the lord comfort you in your time of grief and loss.
    I pray that the lord cover you with his presence as only the spirit can do…

  12. Naomi Knox says:

    Our deepest prayers for your loss of Gary’s physical body, but rejoicing for the celebration that is happening in Heaven. Gary was much loved by the Thompson’s for his happiness in the Lord, his funny jokes, and just being the good ole boy that he was…… he will be missed here on earth, but leaves many happy memories…. Naomi Thompson Knox and family

  13. Boyd Watts says:

    To Donna, Sandy & Curtis!
    Brenda who is in Heaven and I would go to where you Guys were singing just to Fellowship with you.
    Love to all of you

  14. Lauren Brown says:

    I’m so very sorry for you loss. I planned on coming to the calling hours but am unable to attend due to family illness. I wanted you all to know I’m thinking of you all & keeping you in my prayers daily.

  15. Becky Byrd says:

    I just found out that Mr. Blanton passed away. We met him through business and he was such a nice man. We are sorry for your family and the loss of Mr. Blanton.

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