Jack M. Blanke

Jack M. Blanke

April 2, 1936 – March 16, 2020


Jack was born at 824 H Street in Geneva, NE in 1936 to Henry and Fern Blanke.  He had 2 older siblings Henry and Janice.

Jack graduated from Geneva High School in 1954.  He ran track, played basketball and was all state in football.

He went on to Doane College.  He wasn’t too serious about school until he met Margaret Hoarty.

Jack and Margaret married on May 31, 1958 at St. Helena’s Church in Grafton, Nebraska.

When they were first married, Jack and Margaret would make frequent trips to Grafton and Geneva.

Jack would work at Blanke’s Tavern, Geneva City Pool, and help Margaret with her siblings Jim, Nell, Ann and Dick while his mother in law Mary was teaching or going to school.

After Jack graduated from Doane, they moved to Fairbury, Nebraska where their son Timothy was born.  In 1961, they moved to Omaha where Elizabeth and Philip were born.

Jack and Margaret’s first home was at 6106 N. 66th Street.  It was a great neighborhood with lots of young families.

They moved to 3823 N. 95th in 1973 where they were surrounded by good neighbors and lots of Maplewood preschool and Omaha Public school friends.

Jack’s first teaching job in Omaha was teaching geography at McMillan Junior High.

He transferred to Technical High School where he taught history for 10 years.

He spent the last 23 years of his teaching career at Central.  He was the history department head for 21 years teaching Advanced Placement and regular history courses.

Jack was a great teacher.  He won the Buffet Award in 1994.

He enjoyed teaching students about William Jennings Bryan – the Golden Boy orator from the Platte, Bloody Kansas, Return to Normalcy, 13 contiguous colonies and Milton Friedman

Jack loved his family, Nebraska football and the New York Yankees.

Jack retired from Central in 1997 to spend more time with his family.

He volunteered several years at St. James Grade School where his grandchildren, Tom and Libby were students.  He enjoyed being a cafeteria and playground monitor.

After Tom and Libby left St. James, he switched volunteer roles.  He cleaned the church and helped at funerals so he could spend more time with Margaret.

He was a devoted husband to Margaret.  They were married for 55 years.

Jack is survived by children: Tim (Michelle), Lisa, and Phil; grandchildren: Tom (Kari) and Libby (Cody); dog, Shirley; and numerous other family members and friends.

VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Friday, July 24th from 4pm to 6pm, at the West Center Chapel followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 6pm.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, July 25th, 10am, St. James Catholic Church (4710 N. 90th St.)

To view a live broadcast of the Mass, go to our website and click the View Live Cast button on our homepage.





  • Al Roeder Posted March 17, 2020 8:04 am

    I will miss those Wednesday breakfasts and many good laughs. Rest in Peace old friend.

  • Melanie Haynes-McCurry Posted March 18, 2020 9:25 pm

    My sincerest condolences on your loss. While I didn’t know Jack for a long time, he was interesting addition to our group. I enjoyed hearing his insights and have often thought of him over the last few years. He often referred to Mrs. Blanke as his bride, now he can be with her again.

  • Clyde R incoln Posted March 19, 2020 2:21 pm

    I taught with Jack at Central High for 16 years. He was a fine teacher and department head. He will be missed by all of us who called him friend, especially those in the Social Studies Department.

  • Clint Richards Posted March 19, 2020 6:49 pm

    I had the pleasure of having Mr. Blanke as my history teacher at Central. While I have always loved learning about history, he made the pursuit of historical knowledge more enjoyable and entertaining than I ever thought possible. Fair wind and following seas..

  • Mary Hill Achelpohl Posted March 19, 2020 10:03 pm

    Mr. Blanke was one of the best. My high school friends and I still exchange funny historical facts and sayings we learned from him when we get together. I looked forward to his class every day & feel lucky to have had such an incredible history teacher at Central HS.

  • Marti Goodwin Posted March 20, 2020 9:43 pm

    Jack was like a father to me since my family lived next door for many of my childhood years. I spent many of my days at his house with his daughter Lisa who was my bestie. He was a kind hearted and funny man who my parents loved spending time with too. He will be missed by so many. My heart goes out to his family and my prayers are with them all.

  • Lee A. Jenkins Posted March 21, 2020 4:27 pm

    Liz and Family, I’m sorry for your loss, thinking of you.

  • Peggy Blandford Posted March 22, 2020 12:09 pm

    I heard Jack’s name said at the intentions today during online Mass. I used to visit with him at Thurs 8:15 school Mass. He was very proud of his family, especially the grandkids. My condolences.

  • Michael Gillaspie Posted July 25, 2020 9:28 am

    I had “Mr. Blanke” in AP US History at Central and fondly recall how he brought Black Jack Pershing, Teddy Roosevelt and so many others to life. I remember just a handful of past teachers but he was unforgettable. He was funny, passionate about history and loved teaching…it was obvious at the time to a 17 year old and even more so to me decades later. I am very grateful to have known him and it is obvious that a man like that will be greatly missed. Peace to his family for a man who made a difference.

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