JAMES ROBERT BLANDFORD, '55CommanderJames Robert Blandford, USN (ret),91, passed away peacefully at home in charleston, SCon 13 August 2023.Born in Pittsburgh, PA on 25 December 1931, Jim was the son of Robert and Margaret Blandford. He was a Varsity football player, All-City basketball, and Marksman at Carrick High School. After graduation he enlisted in the Naval Reserve until his appointment to the Naval Academy with the Class of '55. While atAnnapolis he earned a degree in Naval Science, and lettered with the Crew team. He regaled us all with stories of the Great Eight for the rest of his life.Upon Commission as an Ensign, Jim became a Surface Warfare Officer serving at sea on Cruisers,Amphibs, and his beloved Fletcher Class Destroyers. His shore tours included teaching Navigation at USNA and at HMS Dryad while on exchange with the British Royal Navy. He was also on the Staff of theTaiwan Defense Command when President Nixon normalized relations with China. He was both Chief of Staff and Commodore of Mine Flot 1 during Operation End Sweep in Haiphong Harbor, and the Flotilla's return from Guam to San Diego. Jim retired from active duty in 1981 as the Port Services Officer at Charleston Naval Base. Jim joined the staff at Patriots Point, in Mt. Pleasant, SC, in 1982 as Chief Engineer until his retirement in 1997.Jim was an active member of the Charleston Chapter of the USNA Alumni Association. He remained an avid student of Naval and Maritime history all his life. He enjoyed relaxing at his home on Folly Beach and cruising the oceans as a passenger. ln July of 1955, Jim married Kathleen (Kaethe) Madigan, who moved with him from port to port around the world until her death in 1996. Jim remarried in 1998 and is survived by his wife, Noel. Jim is also survived by his son, Captain Robley Blandford,'78 (Joanne), and two daughters, Allison Ross(Steven'79) and Alicia Parker (Gregory'79). Jim was blessed with seven grandchildren and eleven greatgrandchildren. Jim also enjoyed sharing his time with Noel's four adult children and three granddaughters.Jim will be inurned at the Naval Academy Columbarium at a later date.
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Simplicity LowCountry Cremation & Burial Services Inc | North Charleston