Jennifer Blankinship was born on June 25 in Cushing,OK. From the ages of three to 18 she went to Ripley school with the same 24 students. “When you get to grow up in a small class, they aren’t just your classmates they’re your family,” Blankinship said.
She graduated high school in 1991.
After high school, she attended Langston University. During college she worked three jobs most of the time to pay for her tuition and rent. She worked as a skater at Walmart which she describes as one of the funnest jobs she’s ever had.
In the 1990s Walmart hired skaters, people that performed customer service while on roller skates. It was a faster way to help customers with what they needed. She also worked as a Chiropractic Technician and a Physical Therapy Technician. She graduated in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree of science in physical therapy. From the ages of 16 to 21, she had the honor of chauffeuring Earl Gibble across the state of Oklahoma to all of his gas stations. Earl Gibble was the owner of Gibble Gas Oil Company. It’s Cushing location was where Simpson’s Chiropractic is now. They traveled from Oklahoma City to Quapaw almost every Saturday.
“It was with Mr.Gibble that I learned to read a map and how to get from point A to point B. Then there was no GPS or cell phones to navigate your trip,” Blankinship said.
Jennifer met her husband,Chris at the local BBQ and Blues festival in 1998. He was working the ambulance for the Cushing Fire Department. She was playing in the volleyball tournament when the ball hit the tip of her fingernail and ripped it off. She went to the ambulance to get a band aid. And when she got there, Chris informed her that if she just needed a band aid, she didnt need an emergency medical technician, but he taped up her finger and dressed her wound anyway.
“The rest is history, he has been caring for my boo boos ever since,” she said.
They were married Aug. 7, 1999 at Oak Grove Baptist Church. They left their wedding in the back of a 1930s open top Seagraves fire truck.
Jennifer has been a licensed physical therapist for the past twenty three years. She currently works at Genesis Home Health located in Yale. Genesis is a Christian-based home health that services patients up to a sixty mile radius from Yale. She specializes in geriatrics and wound care.
“My goal is to help people become stronger and safer so they can stay in their homes for their entire life,” she said. “I tell everyone I have the best job and work with the best medical professionals around. I have the opportunity to make a difference in every patient’s life.”
One of Jennifer’s most life changing events is when she lost her mother. She was diagnosed with cancer on Dec. 30, 2013 and passed away on June 27, 2014.
As much of a struggle as this was, it taught Jennifer a lot about life.
“She would always tell me, ‘pretty is as pretty does. Make your inside match your outside and the world will see your beauty.’ She was my best friend and we talked ten times a day. She was a nurse and is where I learned my love for the medical field. It was with her passing that I learned every day is a gift.”
Jennifer said one of her greatest accomplishments was graduating college. The odds were against her, coming from a family that had never attended college before.
Jennifer said she and her husband love supporting the local community. They have been very active members of First Baptist Church since 2008.
They are very proud to be raising their three children in this church. They think their pastor, Michael Martin, is wonderful. Jenn lifer said they’ve especially loved being part of building the new building located on west Main Street.
“I feel my calling right now is to work with the youth at our church,” she said. “I love seeing them walk through that door and light up when I hug their necks. We have 60 to 75 kids attending on Wednesday night. Our youth minister, Logan Easom, and his wife Terra, have done an amazing job growing our group and sharing God’s word.”
She and her husband also work with and support the Cushing FFA chapter.
People would describe Jennifer as a fun, caring, tender-hearted, dedicated Baptist that loves the lord. Her favorite scripture is Psalms 139:14 You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
“I want everyone to know that God made them special in his eyes and loves us all the same,” Blankinship said.
In her spare time she enjoys painting cabinets, walls and furniture. She loves helping her friends decorate their homes and giving new life into old things. Her other hobbies include gardening, tending to her flower garden and camping with friends. She says family is most important to her.
She has a husband, Chris, of 21 years; daughter Hannah,16, who is a junior in high school; son Tyler,12 who is going into the seventh grade and their precious princess Chloe,4, who will be starting pre-K.
Jennifer said she is known to many as Mama Jenn.