Deacon James Blandin Jr.
Deacon James Samuel Blandin, Jr., 85, died Monday, April 17, 2017, at the Saint Francis Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina.
He leaves to cherish his legacy, his wife of 51½ years, Evelyn Poole Blandin; his daughter, Reverend Sandra (David) Nesbit, son, Christopher (Deborah) Poole, daughter, Angela Blandin, son, Marcus (Carmen) Blandin, and brother, Robert Blandin.
Born and educated in Anderson County, South Carolina, the son of the late James and Ailene Blandin Sr., he left his parents’ place in Anderson and moved to Detroit, Michigan for a few years before settling back in Greenville County, South Carolina.
In his early years, James worked a number of odd jobs but found his peace and tranquil feeling spraying God’s water EVERYWHERE. He met Evelyn Poole while spraying water working at the Pontiac dealership in Greenville. He worked there for thirty years. James, Evelyn, and the children raised pigs, chicken, goats, and rabbits in various areas in South Carolina.
After the death of their baby daughter Tracy, James became a deacon at Nicholtown Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Calvin C Stewart, Sr. in 1974. While at Nicholtown, he co-started the Nicholtown Baptist all male choir, the gospel choir and the brotherhood community. Also, he was a member of the senior choir and an advisor and mentor to the youth committee. In his spare time, he organized the Voices of Prosperity Gospel singing group. This group opened for the Greenville Gospel Spirit Fest three consecutive years and traveled with local superstar, Mr. Fred Jenkins. The Voices of Prosperity were featured several times on Greenville’s WGGS Channel 16 and WPJM 800 AM radio station. The Voices of Prosperity group spread the gospel throughout SC, NC, and GA. He became chairperson of the Nicholtown deacon board where he served for over five years before leaving to join Bethlehem Baptist Church in Simpsonville, SC.
After being married for some years, James and Evelyn started a janitorial cleaning service. They expanded their business base after placing the oldest daughter and son in charge of their own Greenville areas.
Mr. Blandin was initiated into the Greenville Mason Chapter during his early years of marriage.
In 1977, James and Evelyn began specializing in motorized detail cleaning only. After long prayer and Evelyn’s “Go Ahead”, they opened the Blandin’s Auto Detail Shop at 401 Easley Bridge Road. The business professionally cleaned all motorized vehicles and marine crafts. James would occasionally clean his employees also. High profile clientele such as Senators Ralph Anderson and Karl Allen; Mayor Knox White, Vice Mayor Pro Temp Lillian Brock Flemming; Solicitor Bob Ariail; The Honorable Diane Cagle; NBA star Shammond Williams; Councilwoman Lottie Gibson; contractors John Bolden and Dick Lock; S.C. Franks Mortuary; Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Watkins, Garrett & Woods Mortuary; several ministers and churches were regular customers. The business was located in downtown Greenville, SC for 36 years. The Blandin Family appreciated all our patrons and would like to thank them all. In the mid-1980s, James co-founded the J.E. Beck youth baseball association and Greenville Raiders youth football association.
He purchased a Chevrolet station wagon to provid transportation to practices and games for those players who needed travel assistance on rainy days. Of course, the back of the pickup truck was the choice of ride for the boys.
James believed in worldly and cultural education, therefore, summertime was also filled with family fun trips to Canada, North and South America. One thing Dad said he never wanted to experience again was drinking freshly cut coconut juice out of its shell when the young person picked it from the tree.
Every holiday season the family celebrated Christmas by putting up thousands of lights on the roof of the family home and business which included the yards, fences, trees, brushes, cars, grass, and skyline. He and his family would close out this festive season praising the Lord.
We’ll always remember some of Dad’s mottos/words of wisdom:
“Be a person of your word. If you say you are going to do something, then DO IT. All you have in life is your word and let the Lord take care of the rest.”