It is always difficult to share with you the loss of one of our own; it is equally difficult to share news of the loss of one of our children. Rob Blandford (35th CO) asked that I share with you the sudden loss of his son, LCDR Robert “RJ” Blandford. Below is RJ’s obituary. Please keep Rob and his wife Joanne, their family, and RJ’s family in your prayers.
LCDR Robert “RJ” Blandford of Virginia Avenue, Norfolk, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, 8 March. He left behind his wife, Kristen, and daughter, Kennedy Blandford, as well as his parents, Robley and Joanne Blandford of Williamsburg, his sisters, Jenna Murray of Richmond, and Chelsea Blandford of Hanoi, Vietnam. Robert’s service in the maritime sector included the offshore energy sector aboard Ultra Deepwater Drill vessels and aboard Dynamic Positioning (DP) Anchor Handling Support Tugs. He also served the public sector via the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command aboard an array of vessels to include Joint High Speed Vessels (T-EPF), Ammunition & Dry Cargo vessels (T-AKE), Fleet Replenishment Oilers (T-AO), Fast Combat Support Vessels (T-AOE), and Amphibious Command Vessels (LCC).
Most recently he was recalled to active duty and served with Commander, Naval Reserve Forces in Norfolk, Virginia, in the N36 Force Analytics cell as a data analyst and as the Assistant Program Manager for the N14 Strategic Sealift Officer Force.
Robert was a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, the US Naval War College, and was furthering his education at Drexel University LeBow School of Business in Finance and Business Analytics.
Please take care of yourselves during these extraordinary times; look in on your neighbors (from a distance), call an old shipmate you have not talked to in a long time, say a prayer…
President, USNA Class of 1978