Canton - Mary Kathleen Blankenship Sanford, 93, died on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at her home.
Kathleen was born on July 1, 1929 in Bryson City to Dallas and Ella Stiles Blankenship. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Paul Sanford, who died in 2020; her name’s sake and great-grand-daughter, Morgan Kathleen Green; and all of her Blankenship siblings.
Kathleen later moved to Waynesville and graduated from Waynesville Township High School. She married Paul Marshall Sanford in 1952 and they enjoyed a 58-year marriage.
She was a beautician by trade, but her real skill was as a caregiver to three families – the Blankenship’s, Sanford’s and the Rodgers. Her love in life were her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. A barefoot girl from Buckners Branch became a woman with the biggest heart.
She is survived by her son, Bill Rodgers (Cathy); granddaughters, Andrea Rodgers Ray and Candice Taylor; grandsons, William Jeffrey Rodgers and Jon David Rodgers; great-grandsons, Charley Ray and William Taylor; and two sisters-in-law, Brenda Sanford Roberts and Peggy Sanford Gotlibowski.
A funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 21, 2022 in the Canton Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Reverend Ray Shepard officiating. Burial will follow at Garrett-Hillcrest Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 2:00 until 3:00 p.m. prior to the service at the funeral home.
The care of Mrs. Sanford has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Canton.