Clara Mae Blankenship
She was born Clara Mae Lyles on November 20, 1938 to Oscar and Zelma Lyles of Decatur County, TN.
Oscar died when Clara was an infant and she was raised by her step father, Elmer Rosson whom she
loved dearly. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother O.B. Lyles, her children Deborah
Lee Box and Dr. Gregory Alan Box, and granddaughters Christina Box and Emily Box. She is survived by
her eldest son, Danny Lynn Box (Michaelle) of Parsons, TN, daughter-in-law Jenita Box-Boggan (Daniel),
five grandchildren, Jessica Stanfill (Seth) of Lexington, TN, Patricia Putney (Jordan) of Oakland, TN,
Michael Box of Parsons, TN, Joshua Box (Mackenzie) of Fairfax, VA, and Lyles Box of Lexington, TN, and
three great grandchildren, Jamison Putney, Sadie Stanfill, and Sage Stanfill. Clara died peacefully in her
home that she built on March 7, 2023 surrounded by her family.
She was a beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend to many. She loved being
“Granny” to all of her grandkids and cooking for her family as they gathered at Granny’s house. She
loved her family and was so proud of them. She dreamed of getting an iPhone, which she finally did,
so that she could more easily show pictures and videos to anyone who would help her open it to find
the photo albums. Her photos were full of her family, especially the babies.
She was a strong woman of faith and attended Darden Baptist Church. She had a servant’s heart which
was shown throughout her life. She started her career as a nurse 60 years ago at Decatur County
Hospital. She was the definition of a strong and independent woman. She put herself through school
and graduated from Union University all while working a full-time job and raising her children. She also
worked at Jackson Madison County General Hospital, but most enjoyed working her later years in home
health. She truly was a boss at heart and everywhere she worked would eventually find herself as a
manager or coordinator.
She was a world traveler and had many adventures in lots of different countries and states. She loved
visiting the Smoky Mountains and was blessed to visit the Holy Lands twice. Everyone loved to hear of
her travels. She was an excellent story teller which was passed on to several of her grandchildren. Her
Church family would tell you that Clara’s testimonies were always moving and entertaining. It was
evident that she let Jesus work through her heart and soul. There was no more important relationship to
her than the one she had with Jesus Christ. She also loved animals and always had a pet or two or three.
She especially loved her chickens and spoke fondly of her old mule, Einer, that lived to be 32 years old.
Clara will be deeply missed but her memories cherished forever by her family and friends.
Her memorial visitation will be held at Darden Baptist Church on March 20, 2023 from 4pm-6pm. Her
celebration of life service will be at Darden Baptist Church on March 20, 2023 at 6 pm. In lieu of flowers,
the family requests donations to Darden Baptist Church, 200 Darden Chapel Rd, Darden, TN 38328.