Alvin's Story

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Alvin John Blanken, 84, of Oldenburg, Indiana, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2017, at St. Andrews Health Campus in Batesville, Indiana.
Alvin was born on May 20, 1932 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Leo and Geneva (Barry) Blanken. He married Shirley Prakel on Oct. 8, 1955, and they enjoyed over 61 years of wedded bliss together. The couple is blessed with five sons and one daughter: Greg (Cathy), Doug (Kathryn), Kelly (Millie), Jeff (Vicki), Eric (Kelly), and Tracy (Hans-Werner). He is also survived by a brother, Jerome; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by a sister, Evelyn Pierson, and brothers Leo, Melvin and Elmer.
As a staff sergeant in the United States Marines, Alvin's life and world view were deeply impacted by his time served in the Korean Conflict. Similar to the landing at Inchon and the battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Alvin continually showed his perseverance and dedication to all causes near and dear to his heart. Furthering his dedication to the Marines, he routinely hosted or attended monthly breakfasts with his fellow Marine buddies and their spouses. In spite of his military discipline, Alvin thoroughly enjoyed a good caper with his fellow family and neighborhood cronies.
He believed in supporting local businesses and could be spotted in town wearing his "CHOSIN FEW" baseball cap at The Pub, Brau Haus and the Batesville and Brookville farmers' markets. When able, Alvin regularly attended Mass in Oldenburg.
Alvin and Shirley enjoyed travelling to distant destinations such as Germany, Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands. When they were stateside, they enjoyed coastal living in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and the mountain life of Park City, Utah. But most importantly, they cherished time spent with family and friends. We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Alvin, among them ..."There is no atheist in a foxhole." Alvin, a gentle giant, will be missed by all who knew him.
Visitation is Thursday, May 11, from 4-7 p.m. at Weigel Funeral Home with a rosary service at 4 p.m. Funeral services are 11 a.m. Friday, May 12, at Holy Family Catholic Church with the Rev. David Kobak, O.F.M., officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military rites conducted by the Brookville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2014.
Memorials may be made to the Holy Family Church Capital Fund or the Wounded Warriors Project.
Published on May 8, 2017
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