CCCC scholarship honors two long-time friends
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Vannie Allred Rouse always stressed the importance of a good education and the value of a strong work ... (more)
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Margaret King Blalock, at the age of 55, enrolled in the LPN program at CCCC. The Vannie Allred Rouse ... (more)
SANFORD - A scholarship honoring two long-time friends has been established at Central Carolina Community College.
The Vannie Allred Rouse and Margaret King Blalock Friendship Scholarship Endowment - in the amount of $400,000 - will provide financial assistance to qualifying students attending Central Carolina Community College.
"Central Carolina Community College is pleased to receive this scholarship in honor of these two long-time friends, Vannie Allred Rouse and Margaret King Blalock," said CCCC President Dr. T.E. Marchant. "The college is grateful for this generous gift."
Frank and Sonja Blalock, son and daughter-in-law of Margaret King Blalock, on behalf of the estate of Vannie Allred Rouse, presented the gift to the college. Mrs. Rouse was Frank Blalock's Godmother.
"The one thing that we most remember about the two women is the laughter. They truly enjoyed each other's company and their friendship was integral to their lives," said the Blalocks. "When they visited or traveled, their laughter was constant and provided a welcomed respite from life's challenges.
"The establishment of this scholarship not only honors their friendship, but affirms their belief that continued education is a life-long process that can enrich not only one's life but also those of their families, friends, and community," said the Blalocks.
Vannie Allred Rouse was born July 24, 1921 in Rockingham and grew up in Sanford. The daughter of the late James and Mattie Allred, she was the oldest of six brothers and sisters.
A child of the Depression, Vannie left school early to take care of her invalid mother and help raise her siblings. She had numerous jobs, beginning with cleaning Doctor Blue's office in the evenings, working at the Temple Theatre - rising to the position of the cashier, working at Heins Telephone, then moving to Mount Airy to become a manager at the largest drug store. At every stop in her career, her attitude, work ethic, and native intelligence so impressed her employers that she was always given more promotions and responsibilities. Her lack of formal schooling never blocked her desire to learn and succeed, and created an acute appreciation of the value of an education.
One of her fondest memories was helping teenage girls in the Mount Airy area buy their first cosmetics.
She also met Herman Ashburn, a successful businessman, and they married in 1959. Herman had two daughters and Vannie became a strong mother for them.
Her life was about friends, too. After Herman's untimely death, Vannie began traveling with those friends. She never met a stranger, and during those travels she met Linwood Rouse and a long-distance courtship began. They were married in 1969 and the couple continued their travels, always returning to their home in Winterville. Both were very active in church and civic affairs, and have left an enduring legacy with their generosity. During her jaunts with Linwood, they would pull their car off the Interstate every morning at the first small town they came across. They would stop at a gas station and ask where the "coffee club" met, go there, and spend an hour or two making friends among the locals.
At every stop in her life, Vannie made friends of all ages, along with the children of those friends. She forged a very strong relationship with Sonja Blalock, her "adopted daughter," and Godson Frank Blalock, which continued right up to her passing in April 2015. They loved like family, and touched each other's lives in so many special ways.
Unable to have children of her own, Vannie became a second mother and grandmother to those of her many friends. She loved the visits when they came together to play games, cook, arts and crafts, and discuss school and future plans. She always stressed the importance of a good education and the value of a strong work ethic.
Despite her success and many friends, Vannie felt the lack of a formal education had left a void in her life. She was always supportive of anyone that was continuing their schooling, and that interest led her to make arrangements to create several perpetual scholarships at schools across the state, thus she will impact the lives of the children across North Carolina forever.
Margaret K. Blalock was born Oct. 29, 1921 in Sanford, the daughter of Dan and Carolyn King. Growing up, her best friend was Vannie Allred Rouse, and they remained close throughout their lives. She graduated from Sanford High School and married Frank Blalock, Sr. His service in the Army Air Corps in World War II and later as an aviator took the couple to many locations, but Sanford was always home. They had one son, Frank Jr., before Frank Sr.'s untimely death in 1951.
Margaret began working in high school for Dr. Arthur James, and continued until his retirement in the early 1970s. Having no formal training, and under the tutelage of Dr. James, Margaret gradually fulfilled the traditional role of nurse the old-fashioned way -- on-the-job training. She performed duties reserved today for only Registered Nurses.
Upon Dr. James' retirement, Margaret found that in looking for a job that virtually nothing was available in her field without formal training. So at the age of 55, she enrolled in the LPN program at CCCC, attending classes with students less than half her age. Upon obtaining her degree, she began working for Dr. Hayden Lutterloh and continued with his practice until her death. One attribute always found in the small town doctor came naturally for her -- that of caring and individual attention for each patient, and after office hours she would routinely make house calls to continue patient care.
As a single working mother, Margaret was active in her son's Scout and school activities, church, and caring for her terminally ill mother and mother-in-law. Her later life was blessed with the addition of Sonja, who was more like a sister than daughter-in-law, and then her two grandchildren Margaret, better known as Meg, and Dan, who was named for her father.
The CCCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization affiliated with, but independent of, Central Carolina Community College. It receives donations of money and equipment on behalf of CCCC and uses them to promote the educational mission of the college and assist students through scholarships and grants.
For information on giving to the Foundation or its fund-raising events, contact Emily Hare, executive director of the CCCC Foundation, 919-718-7230 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply for a scholarship, contact the CCCC Financial Aid Office, 919-718-7229.
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