Fredrick Zane Blevins of Hopewell, Virginia, died peacefully at home on April 28, 2017 at the age of 88 after a brief illness.
Born on March 2, 1929 near West Jefferson, NC, Mr. Blevins grew up as the oldest of six children born to Fred and Helen (Watson) Blevins. His father's death when he was 14 years old caused grave financial hardship for the family. Mr. Blevins worked for a while in his teens at the Ashe County Cheese Factory, then joined the Navy at age 17, sending most of his paycheck back to his family to help with their support.
After two years in the Navy serving on the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy Jr, Mr. Blevins took advantage of the GI Bill to attend NC State University where he obtained a BS degree in Agricultural Engineering. While at NC State, he met Eunice Creech. They married on May 10, 1952, then departed for West Lafayette, Indiana and Purdue University, where Mr. Blevins earned a master's degree in Mechanical and Agricultural Engineering. Following graduation from Purdue, Mr. Blevins began his career with Allied Chemical Corporation as a Technical Service Representative in Columbia, SC.
While residing in Columbia, the family grew with the addition of four children. A transition in Mr. Blevins's work responsibilities from technical assistance to sales led to his moving up the corporate ladder and the family's moving across the country, first to Omaha, Nebraska in 1963, then to Beaverton, Oregon in 1968, Gillette, New Jersey in 1970, and Hopewell, Virginia in 1972. Following a highly successful career of more than forty years with Allied Chemical/Allied Signal/Honeywell, Mr. Blevins retired in 1995. He then began a second career assisting his wife Eunice in real estate at Blevins Realty, Inc. After they retired from the real estate business, they continued to manage their own rental properties.
Wherever he lived, Mr. Blevins was active in community service. When the children were younger he was actively involved with the local Boy Scout troop. Following the move to Hopewell, he served in leadership positions in the Salvation Army, including positions as chair of the Hopewell Service Unit, service on the Advisory Board for Petersburg, and Chairman of the Petersburg Unit. He was appointed to the John Randolph Hospital Authority in 1990 and served on the John Randolph Foundation Board beginning in 1995, serving three terms (one as President).
His Christian faith was of primary significance in Mr. Blevins's life, and church involvement was always a vital aspect of that faith. Mr. Blevins was a strong supporter of First Baptist Church, Hopewell and of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. He was well known as a wise, knowledgeable Sunday School teacher and served in numerous other leadership positions in the Church. Mr. Blevins strived to treat others with compassion and kindness as a concrete expression of his desire to be "a witness for Jesus Christ." He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed.
Mr. Blevins is survived by his wife, Eunice C. Blevins, of Hopewell, VA, sons Kent (Gail Peace) of Boiling Springs, NC, Alan (Wanda) of Blythewood, SC, and Lyle (Ana Maria) of Goose Creek, SC, and daughter Lucy (Tim) Jordan of Raleigh, NC, fifteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, as well as sisters Sharon Gambill, Mannon Eldreth, and Marlette Cullen, all of West Jefferson, NC, and brother Ivan (Mary) Blevins of Rural Hall, NC. He was preceded in death by his brother Keith (Susie).
A visitation will be held at JT Morriss & Son Funeral Home, 820 West Broadway Avenue, Hopewell, VA, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 PM on Thursday, May 4. The funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church, 401 N 2nd Ave, Hopewell, VA at 2:00 PM on Friday, May 5. Interment will occur at 2: 00 PM on Sunday, May 7 in Blue Ridge Baptist Church, 407 Blue Ridge Church Road, West Jefferson, NC. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to an endowment fund of the John Randolph Foundation or to the endowment fund, First Baptist Church, Hopewell, VA.