Roberta Mollie Gloyne Arneach Blankenship, known to most as Mollie Blankenship, was born April 19, 1919 to John and Louisiana Leta “Lula” Owl Gloyne. She passed away Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 at Tsali Care Center in Cherokee.
Being the oldest of four, she was very proud of her Cherokee heritage as a member of the Yellowhill community. In 1947, she became the first woman elected to Cherokee Tribal Council. She attended the Cherokee Boarding School and Oklahoma University. She started work for the TVA and later worked as a stenographer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Cherokee later to become head of Realty which she held until retirement in 1985. She served on many boards, especially for the arts including Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. and Southern Highland Guild.
She was one of the founding members of the Cherokee Historical Association and was a trustee for Western Carolina University. She enjoyed traveling all over the country and overseas with her traveling buddy, Betty Dupree, to share Cherokee culture and arts. She was a parishioner of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Cherokee.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Fred Blankenship; brothers, Dan Gloyne and John Gloyne; daughter-in-law, Charlotte Cleveland Arneach.
She is survived by her only son Lloyd Arneach Sr.; sister, Mary Lou Gloyne Byler; grandchildren, Lloyd Arneach Jr. and Dawn Arneach; great grandchildren, Cheyenne Arneach, Landon French, William Arneach, Sam Arneach and Sandra Arneach; one great-great grandson Tanin Kae Newman Arneach and several nieces and nephews; additionally, extended family Lindsay and Carolyn Cleveland.
Mollie will be taken to the Yellowhill community building on Wednesday, Sept. 24 for a visitation from 1-3pm. A funeral will follow the visitation, after a short break, starting at 4pm at the Yellowhill Community building with Father Everett Fredholm officiating the service. An immediate burial will follow the service in the Yellowhill Cemetery with pall bearers being among her grandsons and nephews. An honorary Pallbearer will be Wilbur Paul.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Cherokee Historical Association and/or Qualla Arts and Crafts.