Thomas Pennington Blanton Scholarship
As a boy, Thomas Pennington “Penn” Blanton was loved by children, peers and adults, and he returned it. He was bright, witty and mischievous. Inseparable from his two older brothers, they named themselves the “Three Amigos,” which always made their parents smile. Penn’s sister, Eliza, nicknamed him “Sweetums,” the only brother to receive a nickname from her.
A graduate and student body president of Salisbury High School, he afterwards enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served for six years. There he pursued his lifelong avocation: weather forecasting. Stationed at various Naval airbases, he served as an aerographer’s mate, measuring and forecasting weather for Navy pilots.
Penn graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA), majoring in government. He loved great political contests, both here and abroad. Penn remained a staunch conservative and knew how to make, and take, a political joke. After his time at UVA, Penn spent a year working for a government contractor in Afghanistan, managing aerostats, small blimps that measured critical weather statistics as well as carrying secret military surveillance equipment.
Penn and his wife, Emily, lived on her family farm near Mocksville where he helped build and manage a cut flower farm, Cana Farms.
Penn’s family established the Thomas Pennington Blanton Scholarship in his memory. The scholarship is available to Salisbury High, Davie High or UVA students interested in IT, meteorology, or weather.