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Vincent Earl Blank

February 14, 1927 September 8, 2011
Vincent Earl Blank
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Obituary for Vincent Earl Blank

Vincent Earl Blank, 84, of Vinton, died peacefully Thursday, September 8, 2011, at his home in Vinton.
   Graveside services will be held 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 12, 2011, at Evergreen Cemetery in Vinton with Pastor Jim Blair officiating.  Visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday, September 11, at Van Steenhuyse-Russell Funeral Home in Vinton. Military rites will be performed by Geo. G. Luckey American Legion Post 57 of Vinton and Iowa Military Funeral Honors of Iowa City.
   Vince was born February 14, 1927, in Vinton, Iowa, the son of Leo and Mildred Troxel Blank. He attended school in Vinton until 10th grade when he enlisted in the Merchant Marines during WWII.  He made two cruises to the Pacific Theater and while home on leave in 1944, he fulfilled his boyhood dream by joining the United States Navy.  He continued to serve in the Pacific Theater of Operations and was in Tokyo Harbor for the surrender of Japan.  While on leave visiting family in Pennsylvania, he met his future wife, Nancy Zweifel, the proprietor of Miss Nancy's School of Dance in Bethlehem.  They corresponded for 2 years and were married on their next meeting, July 5, 1952, in Bethlehem, PA.
   While Vince and Nancy raised 6 children, Vince served 30 years in the Navy, including service in WWII, the Korean Conflict, and three tours of combat in Vietnam.  Enlisting as Seaman Third Class, he became a Telegrapher’s Mate and rose through every enlisted and Warrant Officer grade, eventually attaining the rank of Lieutenant as a Communications Officer. Additionally during his career, he received more than 20 medals and citations and was a member of the All-Navy Rifle and Pistol Team.  After retiring from the Navy, he returned with his family to his hometown of Vinton where he became the first City Coordinator and would later serve as Mayor.
   Vince was a Life Member of Geo. G. Luckey American Legion Post 57 with over 65 years of service to God and Country.  In the American Legion, he was twice elected Post 57 Commander and served in multiple Post and District positions before becoming State Adjutant. In 1984, he was elected Department Commander of the State of Iowa, and subsequently Aide to the National Commander.  Vince was also an active member of the Vinton Masonic Lodge, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Legion 40 and 8, and was an active supporter of local civic and charitable organizations.
   After retiring from his civic duties, he and his wife Nancy were avid campers and travelers, touring the U.S. and Canada full-time in their motorhome.  Never ones to simply relax, they routinely volunteered their service as campground hosts.
   He was married for more than 59 years to his loving wife, Nancy.  In addition to Nancy, he is survived by his 6 children: Jill (John) Gualtier of Vinton; Jan (Dan) Knaack of Vinton; Julia (Jerry) Meadows of Vinton; Jennifer (Brian) Parr of Vinton; Verne (Tammy) Blank of Belle Plaine; Joseph (Dominique) Blank of Cedar Rapids; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
   Vince was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter in infancy; and one brother, Verne Blank.
   In lieu of flowers, memorials in Vince’s name may be directed to Geo. G. Luckey American Legion Post 57 Veteran’s Assistance Fund.
“Any person who may be asked…
What they did to make their life worthwhile…
Can respond with pride and satisfaction…
I served in the United States Navy.”  ~ President John F. Kennedy


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