Dianne Cotter Blankenship Leicester - Dianne Cotter Blankenship, 65, died peacefully on Sunday morning, October 16, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. She is survived by her husband, Charles, of Leicester. Dianne was born in 1951 in Brockport, NY, to Rita Marshall Cotter, now of Kilmarnock, VA, and the late Adrian Edwards Cotter. In addition to her husband and mother, she is survived by her brother, Douglas and his wife Anne of Kilmarnock; by her brother, Derek "Rick" and his wife Beverly, of Raleigh; by Charles' brothers, Garrett and his wife Norma Jean, of Marshall, and Carl, of Burnsville; his sisters, Kathleen Whitehead, Bernice McMahan and her husband Jim, and Maxine Scott and her husband Frank, all of Burnsville; and by many nieces and nephews and their children. Dianne moved to Asheville with her family in 1958. She attended TC Roberson High School, NC State University and Purdue University. Dianne graduated from the Central Carolina Technical Institute in 1972 with an associate degree in Veterinary Technology. She was an integral part of Asheville Veterinary Associates from 1972 to 2015. Her associates commented on her strong work ethic, kind soul, passion for animals and veterinary medicine, and her great intelligence - tremendous attributes in her field. She took a break from AVA from 2004-2010 to be the Chairperson of the Veterinary Technician program at Asheville-Buncombe Technical College. Dianne's passion was for horses. She raised, trained and showed them, and taught horseback riding. She loved traveling with them and trail riding. With Charles, she discovered the beauty of the Colorado mountains and loved taking the horses there. A celebration of Dianne's life will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 20, at Groce Funeral Home, 1401 Patton Ave., Asheville, with a receiving of friends and family afterward. In lieu of flowers, Charles requests that donations be made to Zion Hill Baptist Church, 1008 Newfound Rd., Leicester, NC 28748, for their West Virginia coal fields ministry, or to the charity of your choice. The online register is available at www.grocefuneralhome.com .
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