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Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Retired Col. Felix Anthony "Doc" Blanchard Jr. died, at age 84, on April 19, 2009, in his home in Bulverde, Texas. 

He was born in 1924, in McColl, to Felix Anthony Blanchard and Mary Gilchrist Tatum Blanchard, now deceased. His early years were spent in Bishopville. Educated in the Bishopville public schools, he graduated from high school at St. Stanislaus Prep School in Bay St. Louis, Miss., in 1942. He attended the University of North Carolina until he was drafted into military service, where he served until he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy in 1943. While at West Point, his athletic career was outstanding. He was selected as an All-American football player in 1944, 1945 and 1946. In 1945, he won the Heisman Trophy, The Sullivan Award, The Walter Camp Trophy and The Maxwell Cup. In 1945, he also won the IC4A shot put championship. After graduation from the Military Academy in 1947, he became a member of the U.S. Air Force. He earned his wings in 1948 and had an outstanding career as an Air Force pilot. While in the military, he coached football at West Point and was assistant athletic director at The Air Force Academy. Following his retirement from the Air Force in 1971, Col. Blanchard served as commandant of the New Mexico Military Academy in Roswell, N.M., for two years. Among his numerous honors were his induction into the S.C. Athletic Hall of Fame; induction into the College Football Hall of Fame; a special U.S. Air Force commendation for bravery for landing a burning aircraft; and the receipt of the Order of the Palmetto, which is the highest award given to a South Carolinian.

He married Jody King of San Antonio, Texas, in 1948, and they were devoted to each other until her death in 1993. A dedicated family man, he was a kind, humble, caring man and respected by those who knew him. He was a baptized and confirmed Catholic.

He is survived by a son, Felix A. Blanchard III and his wife, Karin, of Hickory, N.C.; two daughters, Josephine Mills and her husband, Gary, and Mary Theresa Midkiff and her husband, Aaron, both of Bulverde; seven grandchildren, Rhett Anthony Blanchard and his wife, Candace, of Asheville, N.C., Mary Ellen Warta and her husband, Geoff, of Cumming, Ga., Lee Anne Asbury and her husband, Dan, of Atlanta, Dennise Magill and her husband, Johnathan, of Charleston, Craig Keller and his wife, Angie, of San Antonio, Toni Timaeus, and Brittany Ivey and her husband, Tim, both of Bulverde; eight great-grandchildren; a sister, Mary Elizabeth Blanchard of Sumter; and a brother-in-law, Royal King and his wife, Betty, of San Antonio.

Funeral services will be private.

Memorials may be made to the "Doc" Blanchard Statue Fund at the S.C. Cotton Museum, 121 West Cedar Lane, Bishopville, SC 29010 or to a charity of one's choice.

Online condolences may be sent to

Elmore Hill McCreight Funeral Home and Crematory, 221 Broad St., is in charge of the arrangements, (803) 775-9386.

1 comment: said...

I am a 76yr old Korean Veteran of the USMC. I had the honor of meeting Felix "Doc" Blanchard as a very young lad. This took place at West Point Military Academy. It was a day that I have never forgotten, as I grew older and participated in sports i always carried the number 35 as a tribute. I also copied the way he ran and i became a bulldozer. It was a great privilege to attend the Army Vs Vanderbilt game when Mr Blanchard Number 35 was retiredi still have the bobbing doll Of Mr Blanchard on a prominent place in my living room. God bless you Doc Blanchard rest in peace. Todays athlete can really take a lesson from him pertaining to attitude. To the Blanchard family be very proud of him and know that there is an old timer who still appreciate and honor him