Winchester man dies, five weeks after being seriously injured in tornado

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WINCHESTER, Ind. — A Winchester man died several weeks after being seriously injured when a March 14 tornado struck his hometown.

Robert G. Blansett II, 73, died April 21 at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie.

The National Weather Service confirmed a death stemming from the March tornado on Monday.

“One of the victims … passed away with injuries sustained from the tornado listed as contributing factors to the death,” the NWS news release stated.

Thirty-seven other people suffered storm-related injuries in and near the Randolph County city.

Wind speeds that night reached 165 mph. Businesses, homes and a church were destroyed. The storm also did significant damage in Selma in eastern Delaware County.

According to an obituary, Blansett was a Winchester native and 1959 graduate of Winchester Community High School, and a veteran of the U.S. Army.

He worked 44 years at Anchor Hocking Glass before retiring. An avid golfer, Blansett was also an assistant preacher at Maxville Christian Church.

His survivors include his wife of 42 years, Vicki, and three daughters, four stepchildren, 23 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Douglas Walker is a news reporter for The Star Press. Contact him at 765-213-5851 or at

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