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Arlene Breeding Blanken

East Stone Gap, Va.-Arlene Breeding Blanken, 83, went to be with the Lord on Monday, March 4, 2024, at the Ballad Hospice House, Bristol, Tn.
She was born in Inman, Va. and lived most of her life in East Stone Gap, Va. Arlene baby sat over 40 children throughout the years. She was Mamaw to anyone who knew her. She was known for her community pots of potato soup and her famous honeybun cake. When she cooked, she shared. Arlene’s sense of humor was one of a kind. She was always ready for fun and adventure, whether it was riding a Harley or crowing like a rooster when the food was just perfect. Arlene’s love for her family was her most treasured gift. She knew how to lift one’s spirit with simple words. She loved big and gave everything she had to her family. Arlene was a member of the First Apostolic Church in Appalachia, Va.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman Blanken; grandson, Bailey Smith; granddaughter, Emeri Connery; parents, James Otis Breeding and Clercie Belvie (Flanary) Breeding; and her sister, Mary Ann Davis.
Surviving are her sons, Brian Blanken and wife Kim of Dandridge, Tn. and Mark Blanken of Kingsport, Tn.; daughters, Sheri Connery of Athens, Ohio and Kelli Smith and husband Shawn of Duffield, Va.; eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; brothers, Doug Breeding and Ron Breeding, both of Bristol, Va., Wayne Breeding of Church Hill, Tn. and Danny Breeding of Surgoinsville, Tn.; several nieces and nephews, and special friend, Johnny Estridge.
A graveside service will be held 11:00am Thursday, March 7, 2024 at Powell Valley Memorial Gardens with Pastor Johnny Flanary and Assoc. Pastor Emil Schenck officiating. The family and friends will gather at the cemetery by 10:50am.
Family will serve as pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, Arlene expressed her desire to assist her church, please make donations to First Apostolic Church, PO Box 589, Appalachia, Va. 24216.
Gilliam Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to serve the Blanken family.
To view the obituary online and offer condolences, visit or the funeral home Facebook page.

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