Sara Shirley Blan
Sara Shirley Blan
  • March 23, 1924 - October 9, 2017
  • Palm Harbor, Florida

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Sara Shirley Blan, 93, of Palm Harbor transitioned this earthly life on Monday, October 9, 2017, surrounded by family and friends in her longtime home at Stratford Court.

“Shirley” - as she was known to one and all - is survived by her loving husband of 74 years, Col. Kennith W. Blan (USAF Ret’d), and her son Kennith W. Blan Jr. (Lyndy Ervin Blan) of Crystal Beach. Shirley was born March 23, 1924, in Detroit MI to Adolph and Lillian Schane, who pre-deceased her, as did her brother Donnie and her sister Bernice.

In addition to Col. Ken and Ken Jr., Shirley is also survived by her brother Dale Schane, brother-in-law James Blan (Nancy), grandson Noah Blan (Stephanie Keough), granddaughters Sarah Bogen (Patrick), Stacy Conn (Stephen Ellis), Leanne Moore (William), Holly Slaters (Thomas), 10 great granddaughters and one great grandson, as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews - including her “adopted” nieces Cheri Hollingsworth and Jane Wilson, daughters of lifetime best friends forever Barton and Ginny Butler. Shirley is also survived by good family friends Brock and Gloria Jackson.

After their marriage during World War II, Shirley followed Ken to Starkville MS, then on to Texas and California as he completed officer candidacy and went on to flight training. They returned following VJ Day to Detroit, where Ken Jr. would be born, and in 1950 embarked on an eventful military life following Ken’s recall to active duty during the Korean conflict. Over the next 25 years, they served together at multiple active duty stations including in California, Texas, Florida, Alaska, South Carolina, Alabama, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., as well as in New Delhi, India. Upon retiring from the Air Force, Shirley and Ken settled in Pinellas County in 1975, attracted by the warmth of both weather and extended family.

During Ken’s active duty time, Shirley participated in and held leadership roles with the Air Force Officer’s Wives Association. She also became an accomplished bridge player, which she later enjoyed at Countryside Country Club well into her 80s.

Shirley’s family are grateful to the nurses and staff of Suncoast Hospice, whose compassionate care helped immeasurably during her last days, and to Nurse Christy Frazier for her kind, personal attention over several months.

Following private services, burial will occur at the hallowed grounds of the Bushnell National Cemetery in Sumter County FL.