Richard BledsoeJanuary 6, 1933 ~ November 21, 2017 (age 84)
Richard “Dick” Vance Bledsoe, Sr., 84, passed away on November 21, 2017, surrounded by the love of his wife, Marie, and their family. A current resident of Orange Park, Florida, formerly of Lexington, Kentucky, Dick entered this life on January 6, 1933 in Orange County, Indiana, the son of the late Alvin and Revella Harris Bledsoe.
As a proud veteran with 20 years of service in the U.S. Air Force as a cook, a jet engine mechanic, and a site supervisor in the Strategic Air Command Minute Man Missile program, Dick retired with the rank of Master Sergeant on July 31, 1970. A successful entrepreneur, accomplished cook, avid golfer and a life-long sports fan, Dick is remembered for his generosity, his integrity, his love of debate and his absolute devotion to family.
Dick will be missed by his wife of 62 years, Mary Eileen (Marie), his children, Mary Darleith Bruno (Paul), Richard Vance Bledsoe, Jr. (DiAnn), Donna Marie Gawelczyk, Karen Lynn Bledsoe Bear (David Zarowny), Steven Michael Bledsoe (Diane), David Lee Bledsoe (Carmel), and Janna Jolene Knapp (Donald), his grandchildren Richard (Amberlyn), Kristina (Nathan), Tony (Colleen), Jessica (Peter), Kenny (Marissa), Ginny, Jeffrey (Emily), Madison, Harrison, Donny, Carly, Brooke, Rileigh, and Julia; his twelve great-grandchildren; and his brother, Winston Bledsoe of Colorado. He was preceded in death by his son John Edward; his son in law Gerald Gawelczyk; his parents; his sisters, Anne Blackwell, Judith Bledsoe, and Kay Wilgus; his brothers, Blythe, Jim, Arnold, and Donald Bledsoe; his sisters in law, Jean and Rosalie Bledsoe and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, in Orange Park, Florida on today, November 26, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Full military honors will be held at Jacksonville National Cemetery on Monday, November 27, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital are welcome.