Sept. 23, 2023
1 p.m. - 2 p.m.


Sept. 23, 2023
2 p.m.


Sept. 23, 2023

With a heart as big as the sky and a love for the Carolina Tarheels and the Atlanta Braves that rivaled any superfan, Don Blanton slid into his next adventure on September 7, 2023. Those close to him suspect he's now discussing basketball with his beloved coach Dean Smith and throwing the ceremonial first pitch for the Braves up in the great beyond.

Don came into the world in Boiling Springs, North Carolina on July 28th, 1943, and from an early age, he exhibited a penchant for soaring — both in the skies with the Air Force and in his passion for life. After a decorated career in the Air Force, where he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Commendation Medal, Achievement Medal, National Defense Medal, and many others, he comfortably retired his wings but never his spirit and love for the country he loved so much.

He began his next journey in life managing Bi-Lo Grocery Stores where he truly enjoyed meeting many new faces and being a positive influence to everyone around him. He retired from Bi-Lo after twenty years of service.

While he was fiercely proud of his Air Force blues, come game day, Don's true colors shone through: Tarheels' blue and Braves' red. His family recalls with fondness the many times he'd say, "Yes Sir!" when his boys made a clutch basket to win the game.

Don leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and a large collection of Tarheel memorabilia and bald eagles. He is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, Rita; his beloved daughters, Denise (Jason) and Michelle (Stephen); a band of grandchildren, Tina, Jacob, Zachary, Madisen, Tristan, Nigel, and Allena, and great-grandchildren Griffin, Scarlett, and Magnolia. And let's not forget Tank, the family dog who, like Don, had a severe dislike for Blue Devils or Wolfpacks.

The family welcomes all to a celebration of Don's grand slam of a life on Saturday, September 23rd at Sossoman Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. and the service will begin at 2 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Entombment will follow in Burke Memorial Park Mausoleum with military honors provided by the U.S. Air Force. Please come decked out in your best Tarheels or Braves attire.

In lieu of flowers, Don would love a donation to Tunnel to Towers or Burke County Friends for Animals.

The family would like to send a special thank you to all of the staff of Carolina Caring for all the love and care they provided our family during this time, with an extra special thank you to Kirsten, Saharia, and Hannah. Your care and compassion set an example we should all reach to achieve.

Here's to the memories, the games, and the man who brought so much joy to all of us and leaves us the legacy as the only other human being, besides Jesus, to "walk on water".

Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Tribute Wall

Leave a tribute for Don Blanton.

Black Candle
Blue Candle
Beige Candle
Burgundy Candle
White Candle

My heart goes out to you, Rita, and your entire family. May blessings of Peace comfort you.

—Darlene Sheldon

RIP Mr.B. Hi my name is Bob Quincy and I worked with Mr. Blanton at Bi-Lo in the late 80’s and early 90’s! He was one nicest assistant managers and also store manager I had the pleasure to work with! I always called him Mr.B! I enjoyed working with him and he taught me a lot! Again rest in peace Mr.B.

—Bob Quincy
White Candle

Don was truly a remarkable person, I've known him and his family for at least 35 years. He was a good he soldier, husband, father, and friend. Rita you and your family have my sincerest sympathy at this time. Renate

Burgundy Candle

I am sorry to hear of the passing of a great man. He was my manager at Bi-Lo from 1982 through 1986 and will be greatly missed.I pray that Jesus will give the family comfort and peace through these difficult days ahead. Don thank you for your service in the Air Force. So long my friend until we meet again in Heaven. Darrell and Melinda Smith and family

—Darrell Smith

Rita and family, Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Don was a sweet, kind caring man who helped make many people smile.

—Glenda Truax

Dear family, my heart goes out to you during this time of great loss. He leaves a great legacy and will be sorely missed. My love, hugs and prayers are with you all now and in the days ahead.

—Linda Schachtschneider
Burgundy Candle

Denise, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

—Jessie Lowery
Blue Candle

Denise and family I send my sincerest sympathies to you and your family for this profound loss. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers 🙏

—Kerri Cable

I knew Don when we were both stationed at Rhein Main Air Base in Germany. I remember him as a kind and good-natured person. Rest in peace. Frank

—Frank Futyma
Blue Candle

Thank you for your service young man, God bless you and yours and may you rest in peace sir. God's speed !

—David Buchanan