Obituary: RI Teamster Leader Gerald “Jerry” Blinkhorn Passes at 80

Tuesday, December 04, 2018


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One of the top union leaders in Rhode Island history, Gerald "Jerry" Blinkhorn, who led the Teamsters 251, has died. 

Read his obituary below:

Blinkhorn, Gerald “Jerry”, 80, died Saturday, December 1st, 2018 at Rhode Island Hospital. He was the beloved husband of Amalia A. (DeVecchis) Blinkhorn. Born in Providence, he was the son of the late Ernest and Jannette (Levesque) Blinkhorn.

Jerry became a Teamster in 1964 organizing Roger Williams Grocery where he served as the shop steward. In 1977, he was elected Business Agent for Teamsters Local 251. He served as a Business Agent until 1982 when he was elected Secretary-Treasurer and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1995. His career in the Teamsters was filled with a multitude of accomplishments. He served on the Eastern Region Automobile Transporters negotiating and grievance and arbitration panel, National Automobile Transporters negotiating committee, the UPS New England Supplemental and the National UPS negotiating and grievance and arbitration panels, the New England Supplemental and Eastern Region negotiating and arbitration panels.

He served as the chairman of the Teamsters Local 251 Health and Welfare Fund. He helped build the fund to one of the strongest and healthiest funds in the country, providing the Gold Card of benefits for his members, second to none. Jerry was an Army Veteran.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Anthony Blinkhorn and his wife LeeAnne, and Andrew Blinkhorn and his partner Dawn Conetta, nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and a sister, Jacqueline St. Onge. He was the brother of the late Janet French and Paula Blinkhorn.

Jerry’s visitation will be held Thursday from 8:15 AM to 9:45 AM in the Robbins Funeral Home, 2251 Mineral Spring Ave., North Providence, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 AM in St. Thomas Church, 65 Fruit Hill Ave., Providence. Burial with military honors will be in the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery, Exeter.  

Elliott M. Robbins and his wife Elsie Sharp established the Elliott M. Robbins Funeral Home in 1948. A licensed funeral director prior to his serving with the US Army in WWII, he decided that he wanted to serve the people in the Centredale area of North Providence by starting his own business.

The original building was a carriage house for the former Frank C. Angell Homestead. The North Providence Town Hall was its former location. It was moved to its current location in 1920 and made into a home for the Sharp family until its conversion to a funeral home in 1948.

Elliott and Elsie always believed in service to others in difficult times. Their roots in the community had been in place for decades, Elsie having been born in the house next door.

The business has been expanding since 1948, and now services families in the towns of North Providence, Johnston, Smithfield, Providence, and Glocester. The business is still owned and operated by the family, the former Lynne Robbins and her husband, Geoffrey Greene, who has been a licensed funeral director at the Robbins Funeral Home for over 40 years.

We are proud to be a family-owned and operated funeral home. We know personally many of the people in our community and are available to their needs 24 hours a day, even in the middle of the night in the comfort of their own homes, if necessary.



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