Eleanor Boys Blank, former publisher, president of The Pilot Co., dies at 98
Eleanor Boys Blank led a full life, most of which was devoted to helping others. This she learned from her father and mother.
Eleanor died peacefully in her sleep Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011 in Jarales, New Mexico at the home of Richard and Wendy Cordova, who were her caregivers.
Eleanor Cornell Boys Blank was born in Plymouth to Samuel Evan and Florence Riddick Boys June 18, 1912. She was the fourth of five children. She graduated from Plymouth High School and Indiana University, Bloomington. While at IU she was a member of the Delta Gamma Sorority.
After completing college she worked at the Pilot News for a couple years. In the early 1940s she moved east where she worked for the State of Ohio for the Department of Employment Security in Cleveland until 1963. She met and married Elmer Blank who preceded her in death in 1958.
Following her mother’s death May 10, 1963, she moved back to Plymouth where she cared for her father and helped manage the Pilot News until his death April 14, 1966 at age 95.
April 28, 1966 the board of directors of the Pilot Company met and elected Eleanor Boys Blank president, her sister Edith Boys Enos, vice-president and her nephew Mike Boys, as secretary-treasurer. In the 73 years of the existence of The Pilot Company there have been only two presidents. The Pilot News was owned longer by the Boys family than any other owner.
Loved children, animals and birds
Eleanor loved her nieces and nephews and taught them about horses, wild-life animals and birds. She taught them to respect Mother Earth and all of its living things. In the late 1960s she bought 20 acres of land, most of which was woods, in West Township where she raised Arabian horses. She supported the Marshall County 4-H Horse and Pony activities. She was a West Township 4-H Horse and pony leader for many years. She had many bird feeders hanging around her balcony and a large stationary one just outside her back door where she could sit in kitchen and watch the birds.
July 19, 1977 she moved, along with four of her prime Arabian horses, to New Mexico where she bought a 1,000 acre ranch. She was an Arabian horse breeder.
A testimony to their love for her, Eleanor was addressed by terms of endearment by her nieces and nephews who may have struggled with the pronunciation of Eleanor like: “Anno” “Al-Enner” and then was called “Nor” by her caregiver family. Mostly she was called Anno.
Her accomplishments as president
As president of the Pilot Company, Eleanor carried forward the tradition of public service and support of those organizations and activities that contributed to the future of Marshall County.
During Indiana’s sesquicentennial in 1966, the governor wanted every county to celebrate during that year. The governor’s county appointee wasn’t doing anything so she called that person and asked if it would be OK if the Pilot News could come up with a plan for the celebration. That person said it was OK with him. So Eleanor and her nephew began planning what was to later become the Blueberry Festival which has been going on now for 43 years.
The Plymouth Public Library was looking to expand its building but it was land-locked. The president of the library board and the librarian came to Eleanor and asked if the lot, which had an apartment house on it and was between the two buildings, was for sale. Eleanor consulted with the other officers and, together, they decided to donate the property to the library.
In her capacity as manager, Eleanor decided to modernize the newspaper plant by going off-set instead of the old method of hot metal. She and her staff did much research and traveling to decide which press and system would do the job. In the summer of 1971 this major feat was accomplished when the first off-set issue rolled off the new press.
Eleanor was a remarkable woman as she lived a full and eventful life. We will miss her. She did her best and made a difference in the world.
At her request, her body was cremated and a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6 at the Assembly of God church in Polvadera, New Mexico with the Rev. Rick Jaramillo officiating.
In her memory, contributions to her favorite charities would be appreciated. These include: ASPCA: 424 E. 92nd St., New York, NY 10128-6804; or Sierra Club National Headquarters: 85 Second St., 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA, 94105; or Bosque Del Apache: Friends of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, P.O. Box #340, San Antonio, NM, 87832.
She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings: Beatrice Boys Rinde, Alfred Riddick Boys, and Elizabeth Boys Ellis. She is survived by her sister, Edith Boys Enos and many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and great-nephews.