Leaving a Legacy
During the 2016-17 school year, FMCS lost two members of our family: Miss Tina Blanden (one of our founding teachers) and Mr. John O’Brien. It was announced on April 23, 2016 at the Teacher Appreciation Banquet and Concert:
– The 2017 Fun Run fundraiser for students scholarships will be named the Miss Blanden Fun Run! Miss Blanden loved the school, wanted to see increases in enrollment and enjoyed our school events – we know she would have enjoyed the Fun Run. More details coming.
– The $1000 John O’Brien Scholar-Athlete Scholarship will be started by his wife, Marilyn and daughter, Christine.
Miss Tina Blanden
Fort Myers Christian School announces the homegoing on February 23, 2016 of one of our greatest teachers, Miss Tina Blanden. Miss Blanden passed away as a result of injuries sustained in a fall after she had struggled the past several years with health issues which included battles with cancer. Miss Blanden was one of the first teachers on staff at FMCS when the school opened in 1979.
She taught kindergarten every year except for one year when she taught second grade. With over 30 years of teaching experience, sometimes she was called upon to be the teacher that would help get some of the more “challenging” kindergarten students where they needed to be so they would be ready for first grade!
Miss Blanden loved Fort Myers Christian School and considered it a blessing and honor to teach at our school. She arguably attended more school events and sporting events than any teacher, staff or administrator in school history! She not only supported her students in her classroom, but supported all students at the school – present and past. It brought a huge smile to her face to see our students excel in and out of the classroom, and a great sense of pride when she would hear about them serving the Lord.
She was a Godly woman of great character, kind, loving, funny, caring and always in prayer for others. Comments from former students, parents, friends and staff:
– “An amazing woman of God”
– “She was my favorite teacher”
– “Tina was an amazing lady with a big heart for kids. We loved working with her…”
– “Your classroom was a peaceful joyful haven for so many children! What a legacy of love!”
– “Her life is a testimony to us all”
– “She was a blessing to so many, including my kids. I can’t think of any better example of 2 Timothy 4:7. I can hear Jesus telling her that she has fought the good fight, she has finished the race, and she kept the faith. Well done Miss Blanden!!!”
– “ Such a precious lady whose legacy lives on in so many of our children. Home at last, Tina!! Her faith has now become sight. You will forever be missed!!”
– “My daughter Vanessa was fortunate to also have her for the one year in which she taught 2nd grade along with having her as a kindergarten teacher and missionettes sponsor. Tina was a wonderful lady.”
– “I think Miss Blanden was the only reason I made it to first grade. I am pretty sure I have more memories from her class than any other year of my school days. She was the best teacher I ever had!!”
– What an amazing legacy! Tina leaves us the incorruptible gifts of character, faith, hope but most of all the love of Jesus.
– Tina Blanden has abundantly blessed our family. She had all three of our children in her kindergarten class, and was a wonderful friend and co-worker to me. Tina was an amazing example of a “good and faithful” servant! Our entire family will forever be grateful for the opportunity to know and love Tina Blanden
– She was one of my favorite teachers. I am thankful that I was able to learn so much from her joyful spirit and tenacity from life.
Mr. John O’Brien
John William O’Brien, Jr. passed away peacefully on December 23, 2015 surrounded by his family. John was born on May 14, 1944 in Rockville Centre, New York, the only son of John and Grace O’Brien. He moved to Fort Myers, Florida in 1972.
John proudly served in the U.S. Army. While on tour in Vietnam he received the Bronze Star. He joined the City of Fort Myers Police Department in 1972. Captain O’Brien retired in 2002 after 30 years of service. Upon retirement John pursued his love of sports as the Physical Education teaching assistant, Athletic Director and Basketball coach at Fort Myers Christian School.
John is survived by his loving family, wife of 47 years, Marilyn and his daughter Christine Marie. He is also survived by his sisters Jane Gil de Leon (Bill), Laurie Albright, 7 nieces and nephews, 9 great nieces and nephews and 1 great great nephew.
John was a man of few words but lived his life as an example for others to follow. He was faithful to God and his church, totally dedicated to his wife and daughter and a mentor to so many young boys and girls as he not only coached them in athletic skills, but taught them how to live with Godly attitudes and behaviors. His legacy lives on in them.