Dr. Emma Lura McLaurin Blankenship
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Dr. Emma Lura (McLaurin) Blankenship
Born March 17, 1948 in Griffin, GA, died November 30, 2021 in McDonough, GA.
Lura attended Sacred Heart Catholic School where she acquired her beautiful handwriting. She graduated from Griffin High School as Valedictorian of her 1966 class. She went on to graduate from the University of Georgia, on a teaching scholarship, in 1971. She earned master's degrees from Georgia State University and Troy State University. In 2004, she earned a PhD in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. She met her husband Joe in June 1969 in Chicago at her cousin Linda McLaurin's wedding. Joe proposed to her on July 19, 1969 as Neal Armstrong stepped on the moon. They married on December 20, 1969. Lura followed her husband Joe as they moved from Atlanta, GA to Griffin, Ga to Monroeville, AL to Dothan, AL to Jackson, GA before finally settling in McDonough, GA in 2006. Along the way she taught elementary through eight grade students from 1971 to 1985. She was an Assistant Principal at Webb Middle School in Houston County, AL from 1985 through 1997. She taught and was then Assistant Principal of Henderson Middle School in Butts County from 1997 through 2009. She pioneered the ESL classes in Butts County Schools until 2009 when she retired from a lifetime of education. After her retirement, she was an adjunct professor at Gordon College until 2011, teaching future teachers. Lura was a Beeson Fellow at Jackson State College, Teacher of the Year in Houston County Schools, and a finalist in the Teacher of the Year in Alabama. During her 40 years of educating young people, Lura has positively affected the lives of thousands of students. It was not unusual to have former students of 30 or 40 years previous to approach her and say, "Do you remember me? You were my favorite teacher." She had a soft spot for the underdog and the underprivileged but helped all her students achieve more than they thought they could. Lura was a "Cradle Catholic" and taught religious education to young people all her adult life. She was a parishioner at Saint James the Apostle Catholic Church in McDonough until her death. She enjoyed sharing the gift of music in the church choir as long as she was able to do so. When she was young, she and her brother Jerry often had to attend two masses at holidays as they sang in the choir at their home church in Griffin and then at the St. James the Apostle mission in McDonough. She is predeceased by her son Daniel Jude Blankenship. She is survived by her husband, Joe Blankenship, her son, Joseph Blankenship, and her daughter-in-law, Tracy Blankenship of Smyrna, GA. Lura is the daughter of John Coleman McLaurin and Emma Lura (Lindler) McLaurin. She is survived by her three older brothers John Coleman (Sonny) McLaurin, Jr. of Alexandria VA; Richard & Lana McLaurin of Bradenton FL; and Gerrad (Jerry) &Gail McLaurin of Jackson GA as well as her three younger sisters Emelie & Doug Tingle of St. Simons, GA; Maria & Jim Nutt of Marietta, GA; and Donna Bolus of Charleston, SC. The long struggle with declining health and excruciating pain during the last years of her life has ended for one of God's most beautiful creations. Lura left this world to go home to her son, Daniel, who has been waiting for her for 17 years. Visitation will be held at Haisten Funerals & Cremations in McDonough, GA on Monday, Dec. 6 from 6-8. Funeral mass will be held at St. James the Apostle Catholic Church in McDonough on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 11 am. Haisten Funerals & Cremations, McDonough, GA., haistenfunerals.com