Rev. Tessie Blanchard, Jr.

Blanchard Tessie

Full Name
Rev. Tessie Blanchard, Jr.

Date of Birth
Saturday, March 7th, 1931

Date of Death
Thursday, January 7th, 2021


Rev. Tessie Blanchard Jr. age 89, of Erie, passed away Thursday, January 7, 2021 at UPMC Hamot Hospital. He was born in Erie, PA on March 7, 1931 to the late Tessie Sr. and Esther Beard Blanchard.

Tessie graduated from Academy High School, and worked at International (Hammermill) Paper Company, retiring after 40 years. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal and UN Service Medal for his service in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He went on to retire as Captain in Erie Army National Guard Reserve Unit. 

As a longtime community activist, Tessie served as President of GEEDC and board chairman of GECAC; President of Central City NATO; NAACP; and Past Master of Bay City Lodge #68. He was the first black man to serve on the board, and as Vice President, of the Erie School Board. In 1993 Tessie was ordained as a minister and served at Morning Star Baptist Church. Tessie enjoyed serving his community, preaching and teaching Sunday school, spending time with his grandchildren, and was a die hard Cleveland Browns fan.

Tessie is survived by his son Byron (Linda) Blanchard, daughter Wendy (Darrell) Walters; grandchildren, Preston Atkinson, Robert (Donyatique) Gilmer, Drayton Blanchard, Naheem Walters, and Hakeem Walters. He is further survived by his great grandchildren, D’Angelo Culver, Damarah Gilmer, Robert Gilmer, and Jionni Atkinson; a sister, Argola Thompson, and sister- in- law, Eula Blanchard; several nieces and nephews and cousins. Special thanks to longtime caregiver Marilyn Johnson and the staff of Erie VAMC Home Based Care Program for their exceptional care.

In addition to his parents, Tessie is preceded in death by his son, Pernell Robert Gilmer, Brother Grover (Doc) Blanchard, his first wife, Marlyse, and second wife, Janie.

A private memorial service will be held Saturday, January 23, 2021 at Burton Quinn Scott Cremation & Funeral Service Inc. Downtown 602 W. 10th Street, Erie at 1:00 p.m. with Pastor D.F. Hunter Presiding. The service will be livestreamed to the public at

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Service Information

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021, 1:00 PM

Burton Quinn Scott Cremation & Funeral Services Downtown - 602 West 10th Street Erie, PA 16502

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On-Call 24 hours Business Office: 602 W 10th Street, Erie, PA 16502