James Robert “Rob” Blankenhorn, 58, beloved husband of Melinda (nee Mothershead) Blankenhorn, and loving father of John and Sarah, passed away in Brentwood, TN after a courageous 3 year, 3 month battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on December 12, 2016. Having been on hospice, he passed away peacefully at home. Rob was born on April 23rd, 1958 in Jackson, Mississippi to David and Diane Blankenhorn. He was a graduate of Vanderbilt University, where he was a member of the ATO fraternity. He worked for Allstate Insurance for 35 years in Florida, Texas and Illinois.
Rob was a man of strong faith, an elder in the Presbyterian church in the 90’s and volunteer at his non-denominational church later. Rob enjoyed fishing, puns, reading and sports, but his greatest joy was his family. He attended every practice and competition for the various activities in which John and Sarah participated. He served as a soccer coach for both children, was the Head Timer for the Cats Aquatics Team and the Chief for the Indian Princess/Guides program. He especially loved the annual vacation to the Gulf Coast with his family and Indian Princess/Guides campouts. Before his death, he was determined to take the family on their dream trips of Paris, London and Egypt. He and Melinda also visited Australia and New Zealand.
He lived life to the fullest despite his progressing limitations and kept a smile on his face throughout the difficulties. His life motto was to focus on the things you CAN do, not the things you cannot; to surround yourself with good people and to always have something in which to look forward. Rob was known for his gentle spirit, hearty laugh and his love for wearing striped polo shirts. He was a man of integrity, faithfulness and wisdom. ALS took his physical body, but could not take his beautiful smile, sense of humor of uplifting spirit.
In addition to his wife and children, Rob is survived by his parents, Dave and Diane Blankenhorn of Madison, Mississippi; his brother, David Blankenhorn of NYC, his sister-in-law, Raina, and their children Raymond, Alexandra and Sophia. Rob’s adamant desires were that his life be celebrated well. To honor those wishes, a “Celebrate Me Home” gathering will be held at Community Bible Church in Nashville for family and friends. This will be held on Thursday, December 22nd from 6-9 p.m. Rob requested no suits or ties. The family also plans to host a celebration of life in Libertyville, Illinois, his home of 24 years, at a time convenient for them in the coming year. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the ALS Clinic at Vanderbilt University, 1301 Medical Center Drive, Nashville, TN 37204. Please sign the guestbook at www.callnfc.com.