James “Junior” Blaylock went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Dec. 8. He was born on June 09, 1926 in Andrews, N.C. to Forrest and Carrie Blaylock. The “last of the Mohicans” as he often referred to himself, he was the youngest in the family and last living of 12 children.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn Blaylock, two grand-children, Nathan Blaylock and Meghan Blaylock, brothers, Ennis Blaylock, Donald Blaylock (Dude), Bertho Blaylock (Bert), and sisters, Cordelina Anderson (Cordie), Agnes Blaylock, Elsie Adams, Ronnie Lunsford, Thelma Hayle, Pauline Thomas, Clearine Luther, Aileen Frye. He is survived by a son, Kelvin Wayne Blaylock, a grandson, Christopher Blaylock, and several nieces and nephews.
Junior played bluegrass and gospel music for most of his life, with friends and family, and on the professional level. He taught numerous people to play fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin, some of who went on to play professionally themselves. He played on the Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round, a local radio-show when he lived in Lexington. Junior played many music events throughout the years, including festivals, benefits and local jam sessions, as well as fund-raisers at the Andrews Cultural Arts Building. He was a member of several local bands through the years including the Carolina Bluegrass Boys and Southern Bluegrass Boys.
A WWII Veteran, Junior left home in 1944 at the early age of 18, where he worked as a farm hand at Woods farm, to serve his country. He served in the Philippine Islands and Okinawa, Japan as a Military Policeman where he earned the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and the Army Good Conduct Medal. He was an accomplished marksman, extremely proud of earning his Sharpshooter Badge. Junior loved to show off his skills on the cabin porch by shooting bumblebees out of the air with a Red Ryder BB gun and was an avid squirrel hunter accompanied by his Mountain Feist dog “Mandy”.
Junior retired after 26 years from Thomasville Furniture in Lexington, N.C. where he lived for many years before returning back to the North Carolina mountains to build a cabin in the Junaluska community where he and Carolyn lived out their remaining years.
Junior will be buried at the Valley River Baptist Church Cemetery beside Carolyn. Rev. Roy Phillips will be officiating. Pallbearers will be determined. Military Honors will be conducted by the Veterans Organizations: V.F.W. Post #10222, Joe Miller Elkin American Legion Post #96 and D.A.V. Chapter #73 and American Legion Post #532 of Hayesville and V.F.W. Post #6812 Hayesville.
The family will receive friends from 11 am - 1 pm on Saturday, December 12, 2020 at the Townson-Rose Chapel in Andrews, NC.
Donations in honor of Junior can be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 75 Medical Park Lane, Suite C, Murphy, NC 28906.
Townson-Rose Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.
You may send tributes to the family at www.townson-rose.com