Chesterton Tribune

Kenneth 'Kenny' Blank dies at 77

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Kenneth “Kenny” Blank, the first Burns Harbor Town Marshal, died Wednesday, June 20, 2007, at the Chesterton home of his daughter Paula.

He was born on March 31, 1930, in Gary, the son of John and Josephine (Busker) Blank, who preceded him in death.

He is survived by two daughters, Paula (husband Doug) Walstra of Chesterton and Deborah (husband Larry) Longacre of Gold Canyon, Ariz.; two sons, Kenneth (wife Brenda) Blank II of Bowling Green, Ky., and Shawn Blank of Valparaiso; a brother, John (wife Jackie) Blank of Crown Point; a sister, Janet (husband Mike) Stolarz of Hobart; 14 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; his unofficial adopted daughter and aide Melissa Thompson of Gary; and his dearest friend, Rose Hamilton of Cambridge, Md;

Kenny was preceded in death by a brother, Clarence (Mickey) Blank; a daughter, Margaret Blank; and a nephew, Michael J. Stolarz.

Kenny served with the U.S. Army in the 82nd Airborne Division in the Fifties and later served as the first Marshal, Street Commissioner, and Building Commissioner of the newly incorporated Town of Burns Harbor in 1967. He worked as a son-in-law in a family-owned business, Verplank’s Towing of Chesterton, later changed to Verplank & Son Towing in his honor. In 1988 he semi-retired from his position as the service manager of Rip Griffin Truck Stop of Limon, Colo., and in 1990 fully retired from Mike’s Sporting Goods of Merrillville, formerly owned by his sister Janet and brother-in-law Mike and brother John.

Kenny had many interests and hobbies, including boating, camping, flying, stockcar racing, and golfing and he was an avid NASCAR fan.

A private memorial service, Pastor Bob Burton officiating, is scheduled for Thursday, June 28, at Edmonds & Evans Funeral Home, Portage Chapel, 6941 Central Ave.


Posted 6/27/2007