was sad to lose Coach. He played a big part in my life. He was my first
coach; freshman basketball. When I dropped out of college
in 1957 I went back to McKinley and talked to him. He had a very positive
influence ("don't give up on college") on my decisions
at that point. I attended Georgia Southern College on a basketball
scholarship and got my degree in Physical Education.
Simmons Mahar '62
1999 I attended a '62 through
'64 reunion. It had been 37 years
since I had seen anyone from Mckinley. I was told Coach always attended
the reunions. I was curious to see if
he remembered me. After dinner he came over to my table and talked
with me. He said he remembered me, but I was doubtful. He began talking
about a football player. When he finished his story, I ask why he had
told me this story. He said, "Well you had a crush on him
for four years, didn't you?" Then I had no doubt. I have
a picture of us sitting at that table and I will treasure it always.
of the memories I have is about some jobs Coach would get us in the
summer. One was cleaning up the old Walsh Stadium after the midget
car races on Friday night. We would go out early Saturday morning and
stands. The days would be hot and dusty as we would clean out the dirt
that the cars would throw up into the stands on the corners of the
track. Working with him always made the work more bearable as he would
set the pace
and we kind of had fun doing it. Especially if we were lucky and found
money in the aisles. One day they left some beer out and I had my first
taste of beer. Coach did not see this.
remember Coach Blanke picking glass particles from around my eye
when my glasses were shattered, and his kindly reminder not to smoke
in the boys room. And also the excellent manner he had of steering
in the right direction. After watching me throw a few "fast balls" during
baseball tryouts, he commented, "Autry, have you ever thought
about going out for track?" Which I did. Thank you Coach. Now
you are up there with another winning team.
am truly sorry of the loss of Coach Blanke. He will sorely be missed
by all. I would just like to say that in life, every little thing has
a meaning to each of us. Of all Coach's achievements, I did not see
perhaps his greatest of all; his achievement towards my life, all our
lives! He deserves an
award toward humanity. Of all the lives he touched through his own
existence, he is greatly admired. He is truly blessed! A man of greatness.
To me he certainly was an "incredible human".
was very saddened when I heard of Coach Blanke's passing. For many
years I would stop by and visit him. He called me "Hoosier,"
probably because I was from Southeast Missouri, at one point in my
life. He was like a father to me. God Bless him.
always called me
by name, he didn't play favorites …and he was like that with
I loved the man and respected him highly. Everyone did. He was a great
man and a wonderful human being. He's gone from us, yes, but
he has departed from us to be with the Lord in Heaven.
knew Mr. Blanke practically my whole life and I can honestly say he
was one of my "all-time favorites." I always loved listening
to him and my Dad talk about their days teaching and coaching at McKinley.
I will definitely miss hugs and kisses!
do not know "Uncle" Jules because of McKinley High School. "Aunt" Martha
and "Uncle" Jules were good friends of my parents. I will
miss the hug and kiss I got from Uncle Jules every time I saw him.
Just reading all these great sentiments and memories confirms what
I already knew: that Uncle Jules was one-of-a-kind. We all are truly
blessed to have had Jules Blanke in our lives. And a special thanks
to Aunt Martha for sharing this great man with us all. My prayers are
with his family.
first memories of Coach Blanke date back to my grade school days when
I sat in the stands at Roosevelt High School watching the Goldbugs
play (my dad, Herb Hacker was the assistant coach at McKinley). A
picture of Coach (and my dad) hangs on my living room wall - a picture
ice cream parlor where they were regulars after their weekly trip to
the movies. Tons of fond memories.....my heart aches for Mrs. Blanke,
a truly special lady.
lost my father early in life while in high school. After that, Coach
was all I had. He was responsible for me staying in school and
keeping my grades up so I could play football and baseball. Without
his guidance, I know I would have packed it in without graduating.
I will miss him very much and his memory is the McKinley spirit.
Smith Mikitin '65
hearts go out to Mrs. Blanke. She has lost a part of her life, therefore
a part of herself. Death of a friend, family member, acquaintance,
always makes us appreciate those around us more and gives us pause
to enjoy each minute we have left with those persons.
like to express my sympathy and condolences to Coach Jules Blanke’s
entire family. He was a great, gentle man and will be missed by every
one who knew him.
sorry to hear about The Coach. He will be greatly missed, but as long
as one Goldbug is still alive, he will be remembered.
Blanke was a one-of-a-kind man who will be greatly missed. The best
things in life aren't things; they are people like Coach Blanke. We
will all have our favorite memories of him that we will always remember.
I still remember and I'm amazed at the turn out for Coach Blanke at
the Orlando Gardens. Truly a great tribute to a great man.
years ago, Harry Hausman and Paul Savage
got together with others and contacted McKinley alumni from as many
classes as they could for donations to help outfit Coach Blanke's football
team. I believe they were successful and a substantial contribution
did aid the Coach in getting decent uniforms for his team. Coach Blanke
was also fortunate to have his McKinleyites think so highly of him.
Well deserved and he will live long in McKinley history.
a skinny physically undeveloped younster, I never played any athletics.
I did have Coach as a Phys Ed teacher where I had to learn the use
of the high bars. It was apparent that my mental development far exceeded
my physical development. Never mind, in the small inadequate basement
gym of McKinley, Coach patiently showed me how to "do" the
bars. Both of us knew that no future beckoned on my progress. Still
he professionally showed and taught me the fundamentals. This action
by a man of brawn for a then skinny intellectual is the ultimate respect
for which I shall never forget. I truly morn his passing.
McFarland Rideout '59
one could hug like Coach!" - right Martha? He could not
just say Hi - the big bear hug came automatically. That's only a small
part of what made him 'COACH' and makes us know how much he loved
us. He will not be forgotten.
Brandon Hernandez '61
my senior year at McKinley we moved from the district and coach would
pick us up on his way to school. He would stop every block or
so to pick up more passengers. By the time we arrived at school there
would be five or six of us piling out of his car. I cannot tell you
how welcome that ride was on cold winter mornings. He always seemed
to show up when he was needed most. Last year my husband suffered a
massive stroke during a cardiac procedure. Coach Blanke was
visiting another McKinley graduate at St. Anthony's Hospital. His comforting
words will never be forgotten. When he left us, my husband's children,
who had never met coach before, said "What a nice man, and
he still remembers you after all these years." We will miss
Blanke was one of those people that you, simply, never forget.
Lou, for letting me know about coach. If you find out any more
details about the funeral, let me know. I don't know if I will be able
to attend, living so far away, but I would like to know. I really wanted
to see him again.
never had a better mentor than "Coach", as I progressed through
McKinley. I had many happy & unhappy memories & most of them
were with " Coach". He kicked me in the ass ( and believe
me he would kick hard) often, because I deserved it and he gave
me lots of hugs because he wanted to encourage me. While I was in school!
But he had a far greater impact on me later in our lives, when we became
friends! He worked part time at AA Meat & I bought meat from Paul
Savage, but would go out of my way to forget to buy something so that
I would have to come down on Saturday mornings & pick up items
just to see "Coach", Paul, & Harry play Pinochle & enjoy
themselves. But the highest honor in my life was when "Coach" chose
me as his "partner" in the annual golf tournament for several
& Ann Jakovac Johnson '49
for the news of our "Coach" going on. He touched and
changed so many lives and we could all take a lesson from his care
and kindness. It's not just the loss of Coach. It's the loss of an
unforgettable person who meant so much to so many .Sports was his business,
people were his passion.
and Violet Sunshine Deane '62 & '64
and I are so saddened by the death of Coach Blanke. It was terrible
news to us. We have kept in touch with Coach over all these years.
He and Martha attended our children's weddings and we felt very close
to him. He certainly was a man to look up to and be proud of. Coach
will be missed ever so much by our family and all of McKinley.
Davis Maio '53
sad news indeed! Words cannot express the passing of our warm McKinley
legend. Sincere condolences.
passing, Coach Blanke's legacy is felt once again. I awoke to some
sad news and also dicovered a true treasure...I did not know that there
was a Goldbug web-site. Now I can relive in others what a great human
being...that he was.
It is a sad fact, that our age group
is now passing in a final review, but those of us left, must go forward.
He was a Man of good faith and heart, he will be missed.
for calling this afternoon. I knew what it was by the tone of your
voice. At the June luncheon Jean took a picture of me with Coach I
have it displayed on a shelf at work where I can see it when I look
up from my desk. I look at it several times a day and have pointed
it out to numerous clients. It is a comfort to me. I have thought long
and hard, but cannot recall a single negative comment ever made about
Coach. He was at the high school level what Bear Bryant or John Wooden
was at the college level. Not that he won as high a percentage of the
games, although his record is impressive, but more the way his players
felt about him. Coach was a very special person.
dad (Herb Hacker) coached with Mr. Blanke at McKinley. Mr. and Mrs. Blanke
are very close to us, they are
like members of our family. We just saw him on Christmas Eve and he had
sense of humor as usual. We will never forget all the good times with him.
He will be missed by many, but he is joining my dad up in heaven.
was truly saddened at the news of Coach’s passing but take some
small comfort in knowing that he enjoyed life to the fullest and right
up to the end. I think Coach manifested many admirable traits but the
one that strikes me the most is the simple, no maybe not so simple, act
of caring. Not just going through the motions, but genuinely caring in
a way that was reflected in the way he treated everyone he came in contact
with. All the more difficult knowing how much he would have enjoyed the
events surrounding the school’s 100th.
Jane Koupa Caragher
am really sorry to hear about Coach Blanke. It is too bad he won't
be here for the 100th celebration of McKinley.
He was a truly loved teacher, coach, and mentor who helped mold children
into dignified and upstanding adults. It isn't often we come across someone
like him and he will be truly missed. However, his memory and good deeds
will be remembered by everyone he came in contact.
you Lou, for letting me know. It is very sad news
about Coach Blanke. I think he lived a good long healthy
life and touched many lives.
Ann Jeude Kuechler
sure that tomorrow at the luncheon, we can have a time of prayer for
the family and the McKinleyites whom he considered part
of the "family". Thanks for the info and I look forward to
the memory times that we might share - even as early as tomorrow.
you for posting Coach Blanke's recent passing. Although I wasn't an
athelete, I had him for gym and he was a wonderful coach. He will be
he molded a lot of students and was a great role model.
sad news about a truly wonderful man. There are so many Goldbugs,
and others, that revered Coach, the funeral service should be held
We will remember Coach with love and prayer, and will be lifting
Martha up in prayer for the Lord's healing and comforting touch.
I'm sorry and saddened to hear about
Coach's death. I remember him fondly and his life stands as a tribute
to those values he passed on to so many of us.
the privilege to finish my final year at McKinley. Coach had a nickname
for a lot of the students and mine was "Hoosier" of course
being from Southeast Missouri. I certainly do not feel I was special,
but when I first met Coach I felt such a bond to him, we had many chats
during and after I graduated. When you asked him a question, the advice
flowed so sincerely. I thank God every day that I had my blessing
knowing a man that I truly admired.