Michael (Mickey) Joseph Blank, Jr., 90, of Middletown, RI and formerly of Palm Beach Gardens, FL passed away peacefully at home on October 17, 2015.
Mickey was born and raised in the heart of the Newport’s 5th Ward on May 14, 1925 to the late Chief Boatswain, USN (Retired) Michael J. Blank and Nora (Murphy) Blank.
He attended St. Augustin’s School and De La Salle Academy where he excelled in athletics. As a youth he was one of the famous 5th Ward caddies at the Newport Country Club.
A member of the Greatest Generation, Mickey answered the call of freedom and joined the Navy in WWII at the age of 17. He served on the USS Ticonderoga in the Pacific Theater where he survived an attack by the Japanese that claimed the lives of 100 of his crewmates.
As a Torpedoman’s Mate (Aviation) Second Class, Mickey was awarded the Asiatic Pacific medal with four stars, the American Area medal, Philippine Liberation medal with two stars, the Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal World War II.
After the war, Mickey took his oath of office as a Newport Firefighter in 1952 and served bravely and heroically until 1976.
He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Dennis Collins Division #1 and a member of the former Idle Hour Club.
Mickey married the love of his life, the late Barbara (Connelly) Blank in 1950 and they raised seven children; Deborah (Harry) Winthrop of Newport, RI, Kristine Millhouse of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Michael III (Kathleen) Blank of Middletown, RI, Bruce Blank of Middletown, RI, Brian (Lisa) Blank of Newport, RI, Stephen (Colleen) Blank of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and the late Sean Blank.
He also leaves 15 grandchildren; Christian Winthrop, Erin Winthrop Ward, Amy Winthrop Denneny, Brendan Blank, Emily Blank, Elizabeth Blank, Michael Blank IV, Patrick Blank, Liam Blank, Matthew Blank, Justin Blank, Peter Blank, Tiffany Blank, Tyler Blank, Shane Blank and 12 great grandchildren.
Mickey was predeceased by his brothers, Commander Arthur E. Blank, USN (retired) of North Palm Beach, FL, P. Frank Blank of Palm Beach, FL, and his sisters, Aniceta (Teady) Blank of North Palm Beach, FL and Captain N. June (Blank) Nunn, USN (retired) of Middletown, RI who passed away just two weeks ago.
He also leaves his sisters in law, Norma Connelly Christie of New Jersey, Deborah Connelly Lee of Rancho Palace Verdes, CA, Jackie Connelly Jones of Venice, FL, Jean Connelly Grenier of Orlando, FL and Joan Connelly Janior of Middletown, RI.
Mickey’s constant smile, Irish wit and caring ways will be missed by his many cousins, nephews, nieces and many friends, especially his caregiver and friend Carol Morris.
Besides his wife and son Sean, Mickey was predeceased by his beloved grandson Cully Millhouse.
Visiting hours will be from 4pm to 7pm on Wednesday, October 21 at the O’Neill – Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Augustin’s Catholic Church, Carroll Avenue, Newport on Thursday, October 22 at 10am Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mickey’s memory to the Middletown Senior Center, 650 Green End Avenue, Middletown, RI 02842