Katherine Boatner Blankenstein

Published 6:27 pm Thursday, March 11, 2021

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Jan. 11, 1931 – March 7, 2021

NATCHEZ — Katherine Chamberlain Boatner Blankenstein, 90, of Natchez, died peacefully on Sunday, March 7, 2021, at her residence, surrounded by her family, after a four-month battle with COVID-19. Mrs. Blankenstein was born in Natchez on January 11, 1931, the daughter of Shirley Alston and Lillie Vidal Davis Boatner. She graduated from Natchez High School in the class of 1949 and attended the University of Mississippi. She was employed at International Paper Co. for a number of years. In 1957, she married Rawdon Blankenstein Jr.

She will be remembered by many for her devotion to her family and friends, her selfless dedication to the entire community, and her tireless volunteerism. One of the founders of New Covenant Presbyterian Church, she served as chairman of the building Committee for the construction of the church. Her deep love and concern for children and young people were demonstrated in her work for over forty years with Natchez Children’s Services where she volunteered and served terms as President and Secretary of the Board of Directors.

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Because of her interest in preservation and history, she was active in the Historic Natchez Foundation, having been president and a member of the board of directors. In 2008, she received the George and Ethel Kelly Preservation Award from the Foundation for spearheading the restoration of the fountain on Memorial Park. She belonged to the Natchez Historical Society, the Mississippi Historical Society, Friends of Our Riverfront (F.O.R. Natchez), the Trust for Public Lands and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She was a former board member of the Natchez Garden Club, chairman of the Preservation Society of Ellicott Hill and a member of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the State of Mississippi.

Other civic involvements included membership in the Natchez Art Association and the Natchez Festival of Music. She was a former member of the board of directors of the Natchez Little Theatre and a member of the Natchez/Adams Co. Humane Society. She had served as Vice President of her family’s business, F. R. Blankenstein Company.

Mrs. Blankenstein was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Francis Rawdon Blankenstein, Jr. She is survived by two daughters, Vidal D. Blankenstein of Jackson, and Chesney B. Doyle and her husband Marc of Natchez; two sons Rawdon (Don) Blankenstein, III and his wife Loretta of Vidalia, and Boatner A. Blankenstein and his wife Laura of Dallas; five grandchildren, Katherine B. Cleary and her husband Calder, of Colorado Springs, CO; Lillie Vidal B. Warren and husband Brett of Chattanooga, TN; Emily Alston Doyle and John Archer Doyle of Natchez; and Julia Grace Blankenstein of Vidalia, LA; and her beloved friend Nancy P. Hungerford and her children, Jonathan, Betsy, and Caroline.

In light of the pandemic, a private family service was held on Thursday, March 11, 2021, at First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Dr. Joan Gandy officiating. Internment followed in the A.V. Davis lot at the Natchez City Cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home. Pallbearers were Steve Ayres, Ayres Bradford, Will Bradford, Ayres Haxton, Carroll Sterne, Vidal Davis, Jonathan Hungerford, Hal Jennings, Malcolm Packer, Rob Coker, and Hall Ratcliffe.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Kenneth Stubbs, Dr. Brad LeMay, Dr. Jack Rodriguez, Dr. Aaron Smith, Walt Wilson, Deaconess Home Health, and caregivers, Flora Burns, Katisha Lewis, Shelia Promise, Dorothy Shropshire, Patricia Sims, Jane Washington, Jessie Alexander, LaWanda Holmes, Ira Baker, Zelmon Dunmore, Ebony Mitchell, Keshia Mitchell, Lauren Barthlett, and Easter Gordon for their loving services.

The family requests that donations in her memory be made to Natchez Children’s Services, P.O. Box 2028, Natchez, MS 39121.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at lairdfh.com.