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News - Press Releases

Posted on: July 20, 2023

City Mourns the Passing of Former Deputy Fire Marshal Richard E. Blankenship, Sr.

Richard Blankenship, Sr.

Please join City of Laurel Mayor Craig A. Moe in sending condolences to the family of former Deputy Fire Marshal Richard Edward “Cat” Blankenship, Sr. who passed away this morning.

Mr. Blankenship worked for the City of Laurel from October 6, 2008, until December 31, 2021, and he served the Greater Laurel area with the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department.

Richard was born on December 29, 1952, in Riverdale, Maryland. He is preceded in death by his parents, four siblings, and his son. Richard was a long-time resident of the City of Laurel, moving here in 1962.

He was a family man, married to his childhood sweetheart – former City of Laurel passport agent Mary Blankenship - for more than 49 years. The couple had two children, six grandchildren, and two great granddaughters.

Richard, like many of his relatives before him, lived a life of public service. He served as a Chief with the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department for 50 years, was a Battalion Chief with the Howard County Fire Department for 35 years, prior to serving the City of Laurel as Code Enforcement and the Deputy Fire Marshal.

Richard was more than just a colleague. He was a mentor, leader, and role model to many. He believed that “being a professional was more than just collecting a check, it was about the quality of work produced and your service to others.” A statement that he told to many, including his family, coworkers and the young men and women he mentored along the way.

His life, legacy, and dedication to service lives on through his family and the values that he has instilled in them.  Richard was “one of a kind,” if you ask Mary. He was always ready with a story or a joke.  He was humble and selfless and always took care of those he loved. His genuine love for people and his community will be missed.”

For his service to the City of Laurel and community, Mayor Moe ordered the Maryland and City Flags to be lowered on all City buildings and facilities to half-staff in honor and memory of Deputy Fire Marshal Richard E. Blankenship, Sr. until his burial. As funeral details become available, the City will pass them along to the public.

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