Kenneth Joseph Blankemeyer was born August 7, 1946, to Gus and Ida (Speer) Blankemeyer in Cincinnati, Ohio. He died on July 12, 2020. He is survived by his spouse, Cynthia Anne (Runyan) Blankemeyer.
After earning a B.A. (cum laude) from Xavier University at Cincinnati, Ken earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Subsequently, he had a post-doctoral fellowship in Higher Education in the Office of the President at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Beginning in 1976, he accepted an appointment to the faculty of Tulsa Junior College (Tulsa Community College) and retired as Associate Professor of Philosophy and History 40 years later.
In his position at TCC, Ken developed and taught all of the courses in Philosophy. He taught courses in History and Religious Studies as well. He was an avid reader. As a teacher of philosophy, he encouraged students to think and evaluate by offering points and counterpoints and by challenging unexamined assumptions. He received the Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. He carried his role as philosopher into public life. He was one of the founding members of the Tulsa Philosophical Society and one of the organizers of the multi-year Civil War Sesquicentennial Lecture Series and of the Why Race Still Matters Lecture Series.
Ken helped create and edited the Faculty Forum to give voice to faculty concerns. He considered the Forum to be his most important contribution to the life of the college. In recognition of his work on the Forum, his colleagues founded a TCC Foundation scholarship to honor him The Ken Blankemeyer Faculty Forum Scholarship.
Ken's interests extended beyond academics. From his student days, he was an avid sailor and owner of several sailboats. As a Tulsa Drillers fan, he and Cindy attended games at all cities in the league. He also had impressive construction skills from small projects such as birdhouses to constructing barns and houses, including remodeling and adding to his own house. To those of us who were privileged to be counted among his friends, he was an organizer of our gatherings, which usually involved eating good food. Beyond that, he was a friend who would go the second mile for friends in need.
Arrangements for a memorial event will be announced later. Those wishing to make a memorial donation may contribute to the Ken Blankemeyer Faculty Forum Scholarship fund at the Tulsa Community College Foundation. Ninde Brookside Chapel 918-742-5556 www.ninde.com