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Remembering Randal Blankenship

We are heartbroken over the loss of Winston-Salem Tennis Board Member and friend, Randal Blankenship. His passion for the game of tennis and for the Winston-Salem tennis community was inspiring. He was a joy to know and we will all miss him deeply.

At the request of his family, Winston-Salem Tennis has established a Randal Blankenship Scholarship Fund. Donations can be made to this fund using PayPal or checks can be mailed to Winston-Salem Tennis, P.O. Box 5421, Winston-Salem, NC 27113.

Randal Clay Blankenship

Mr. Randal Clay Blankenship, of Lewisville, NC passed away Monday, August 21, 2023, at Forsyth Medical Center. He was born December 4, 1950, in Forsyth County to Clay McKinley Blankenship and Catherine Jo Pfaff Blankenship. Randal went to West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, NC where he played football and ran track. He served in the U.S. Army after high school and went to basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina where he was offered a candidacy to West Point. Randal then went to Fort Rucker, Alabama for infantry training. He served in the Vietnam War and afterwards went to Fort Carson, Colorado as part of the 4th infantry division, 2nd of the 39th headquarters company. Randal earned degrees in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from Forsyth Technical Community College and worked for Ricoh Corporation. His true passion was volunteering for many Winston-Salem tennis events. His good friend, the late Dr. Harold Pollard, got Randal involved in volunteering for tennis events. Randal volunteered at the Flow Invitation Tennis Tournaments as well as three Davis Cup events (2001, 2007 and 2008) held in Winston-Salem. The event Randal enjoyed the most was the Winston-Salem Open ATP tournament where he organized a team of volunteer ushers to assist with running the event. In 2011, the first year of the tournament he had 89 ushers and by the second year he had recruited 255 people to volunteer as part of his usher team. Each year he has consistently recruited several hundred individuals to volunteer for this event. This past Sunday evening, Randal accepted virtually the Lash-Southern Award from the Winston-Salem Open for his community service and was able to watch it live from his hospital room. Randal was a current Winston-Salem Tennis Board Member and had previously held the role of President of the Board. Randal loved playing tennis and he captained many tennis teams over the years as part of the United States Tennis Association leagues. He has numerous North Carolina Tennis State Championships as well as Southern Sectional Tennis State Championships. In 2006, his 8.0 Mixed Doubles team won the National Tennis Championship title held in Puerto Rico. Randal really enjoyed playing with his men’s tennis group at Taylor Tennis Center several times each week. During the worsening of his illness, this group of very close friends to Randal provided a lot of support by spending time with him at home and during his recent stay in the hospital. The love for Randal was evident with all his other dear friends who called and visited him. There are numerous stories shared of how Randal touched the lives of many people with words of encouragement or assistance whenever needed. He truly cared about everyone and considered them part of his family. His big smile and always making you laugh was a gift that will never be forgotten. Surviving are his wife, Kim Haynes; step-children, Rachel and Carter; brother, Darryl Blankenship of Raleigh, NC; aunt, Sudie Mackie of Clemmons, NC; children, Christopher, Eddie, Katie, Ashley and Nikki Blankenship; grandchildren, Daniel, Catherine, Elyssa and Tyler and many cousins. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, August 27, 2023, at River Oaks Community Church with Rev. Andrew Wild officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the church. For anyone who volunteered as part of Randal’s usher crew at the Winston-Salem Open please wear your volunteer usher shirt to the memorial service. For all others, attire for the service is casual as if attending the Winston-Salem Open. A private burial will take place at Pfafftown Christian Church for the immediate family. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Winston-Salem Tennis Randal Blankenship Scholarship Fund (online at or mailed to Winston-Salem Tennis, PO Box 5421, Winston-Salem, NC 27113) or to the ALS Center at Wake Forest Department of Neurology (Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Neurology, Attn: James Caress, 1 Medical Center Blvd. Reynolds Tower Main Floor, Winston-Salem NC 27157). For out-of-town friends the memorial service will be live streamed at

*Obituary from

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