Blenda Blankenship, 98, of Topeka, passed away Saturday, March 9, 2019.
She was born November 26, 1920, in Kansas City, Missouri, and was adopted as a newborn by Clifford and Faye (Brown) Blankenship. Prior to moving to Topeka in 1930, she lived in Iowa and Illinois. Blenda attended Roosevelt Junior High and graduated from Topeka High School in 1938. In 1939, Blenda began employment at Jane C. Stormont Hospital, where she developed the Medical Records Department. After the merger of Jane C. Stormont and Christ Hospitals in 1949, she continued to develop and direct the Medical Records Department at Stormont-Vail. In 1946 she became the first Registered Record Librarian in Topeka; she was among the first three in Kansas. Blenda worked at Stormont-Vail for 44 years, retiring as Director of the Medical Records Department in 1983. Under her supervision, the Medical Records Department grew from a one person department (Blenda) to a department with over 40 employees. Following her retirement, she continued at Stormont-Vail Health Center as a volunteer in administration, the foundation, medical staff services, blood drives, the cancer center and many Auxillary events, ending with a total of 77 years of service to the institution. She also took on the task of documenting and preserving Stormont-Vail’s history, organizing lists of significant events and documenting them for future reference. In addition to Stormont-Vail, Blenda volunteered at the Kansas Museum of History, The Topeka Performing Arts Center, the World Famous Topeka Zoo and was a life member of Soroptomists International. Blenda often stated that volunteering allowed her to stay young, active and interested in life and said she found self-fulfillment in all of her volunteer work.
Blenda enjoyed traveling and traveled the world with trips to South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and the Carribean and 8 trips to Africa with Cowabunga Tours. She celebrated her 80th birthday with a trip to China.
Blenda leaves behind two life long friends, Sandra Hudson and Ginny Dean of Oklahoma, and dear friend Patty McGivern.
Graveside service will be at 2:00 p.m. Monday, March 18, 2019 at Memorial Park Cemetery at 6th and Gage, Topeka, KS.
Memorial contributions may be made to Stormont-Vail Foundation.
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