Michael Raymond Blanton, 62, of Athens, Georgia passed away on Saturday, March 25, 2017 in Athens.
The family will receive visitors at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29 at First Baptist Church of Athens. The funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. with the Pastor John Woodall, Dr. Michael D. Shaffer and Pastor Paul Baxley officiating followed by a brief graveside service at Evergreen Cemetery on Atlanta Highway. Afterwards, the family will host a reception and celebration of life at the Athens Country Club from 5 until 8 p.m.
Mike Blanton was born in Seattle, Washington to Nila Lou Blanton and Raymond Howard Blanton on May 25, 1954 and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Mike earned his BA in Biblical Education from Florida Bible College in 1976. He married his beloved wife, Kelley Pruitt on July 25, 1997 in Athens at the Taylor Grady House.
Mike was a devout Christian who believed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the everlasting life through our Lord and Savior. He helped get Athens Church started and supported Campus Crusade for Life. He was a pillar of the community and involved in numerous philanthropies including Boys & Girls Clubs of Athens, Building for America's Bravest™, Campus Crusade for Christ, Project Safe – Athens, Cancer Foundation and the Salvation Army.
Mike Blanton was a prominent and well regarded northeast Georgia businessman. He opened Dalton Carpet Outlet on July 5, 1978 with just one other part-time employee and now the business has grown to 130 employees. He had been exposed to the floor covering industry at an early age; his mother, who had worked previously as a bookkeeper for a hardwood company, started an in-home carpet business when Mike was young and eventually opened her own retail location. Mike worked for her company as an installer during his high school and college years. Through growth and relocations, the company eventually joined the nationwide Carpet One cooperative and changed its name to Dalton Carpet One in 1988. A second location in Gainesville had already been added in 1979, and the company’s third store opened in Eatonton in 2000 and fourth in Lawrenceville in 2015.
Mike has also continued to steadily grow the commercial side of the business, and DCO Commercial Floors now takes on projects all over the country. Over the years, Mike has been honored with numerous awards, including the Alan Greenberg Award in 2011. Named for the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of CCA Global Partners (Carpet One’s parent company), the award is given each year to one member out of approximately a thousand who most embodies the Carpet One Floor & Home spirit and values.
Mike loved to ride a Harley and enjoyed vintage muscle cars especially Corvettes and Porsches. Mike loved college and pro football games and attended as many as he could with Kelley and friends and family. He was an avid golfer.
Mike Blanton is preceded in death by Nila Lou Blanton and Raymond Howard Blanton.
Mike Blanton is survived by his wife Kelley, daughter Katy Blanton and her partner Meg Mantia, sons Curtis Blanton and David Blanton, sister Jann Blanton and her partner Wendy Johnson, sister-in-law Victoria Farmer, sister and brother-in-law Alice and Hal Pruitt, niece Patricia Pruitt, nephew William Pruitt and beloved dogs Nila, Gidget and Dr. Pepper.
His son Curtis said of his father, “My dad was the best man I have ever known. He has inspired and taught me and so many others so much. He was a coach, a mentor, a leader, a best friend, and truly a role model to us all. He touched more people than I ever knew.”
Pallbearers will be JR Allred, John Barrett, Tucker Blount, John Culpepper, Keith Guest, Ricky Lane, Vance Leavy, Don Leebern, Mitch Malcom, Keith Porter, Billy Rivers, Jimmy Rector, Lee Stinchcomb, Danny Thompson and Cary Wood.
The family of Mike Blanton wishes to extend their sincere thanks to the staff of Piedmont Athens Regional and especially Dr. Russell Pruitt, Dr. David Sailors, Dr. Jonathan Woody and Dr. Cody Gunn and the nurses that worked tirelessly to save his life.
Memorials may be given to the trauma unit at Piedmont Athens Regional. 1199 Prince Avenue, Athens, Georgia, 30606.
Lord & Stephens West is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com