William Blankenship, 77, novelist, IBM speechwriter

William “Bill” Blankenship, a retired IBM speechwriter who wrote 12 novels and had lived in Ridgefield in the 1970s, died in Walnut Creek, Calif. on May 26, at the age of 77. He was the husband of Linda Blankenship.

Born in Chicago on June 25, 1934, Mr. Blankenship graduated from the University of Southern California in 1957. After two years in the U.S. Army, he began a career in communications at the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and then joined IBM, where he worked 30 years as a communications manager and speechwriter in San Jose, White Plains, Armonk, and Tokyo offices.

On the side, he wrote fiction. Mr. Blankenship was the author of 12 novels: The Helix Files, The Programmed Man, Leavenworth Irregulars, Tiger Ten, Yukon Gold, Brotherly Love, Blood Stripe, The Time of the Cricket, The Time of the Wolf, Ghost of Silicon Valley, Daisy on Wheels, and Mark Twain and the Hanging Judge.

His books were published in 27 languages, and Brotherly Love became a CBS movie of the week in 1985.

Mr. Blankenship spent his retirement traveling the world with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

“Bill was a great friend to many and was loved for his warmth, humor, generosity, and the great tolerance and respect he showed towards everyone he knew,” his family said. “He loved people and he made them laugh.”

Besides his wife of 51 years, he is survived by children Lisa, Douglas, Kristen, Adam, and Beth; a brother, Don; and grandchildren Billy, Amber, Rachel, Daniel, Chris, Curtis, Jessika, Risako, Jordyn, Siggi, Che, Devyn, Stevie, and Samson.

Donations in the name of Linda and William Blankenship can be made to Hospice of the East Bay, at 3470 Buskirk Avenue, Pleasant Hill, CA, 94523.