Blanco Thomas High, II, affectionately known as “Skip” to family and friends, was born on May 6, 1946, in Washington, DC to the late Deacon Blanco High Sr. and Deaconess Pearline High. He was the oldest of three children. After a long illness, Blanco entered into eternal rest on June 24, 2021.
As a youth, Blanco was baptized and became a devoted member of Peace Baptist Church in Washington, DC. He attended DC Public Schools in Northeast DC.
Early in life, Skip developed a passion to serve in the US military. While attending McKinley High School, he participated in Army ROTC and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After graduating, he attended Howard University in Washington, DC, where he distinguished himself by becoming an ROTC Brigade Commander. Upon graduation from Howard University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 1969, he was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the Armor Branch, but instead learned how to fly helicopters while assigned to Fort Walters in Texas prior to going to Viet Nam. He was among the first African American Army Officers to become a Medical Service Corps (MSC) medical evaluation pilot trained to fly helicopters in combat. He liked saying he was an air ambulance driver.
Skip returned from Viet Nam and married his college sweetheart, Cynthia Wynola Booth, in 1971. He served in the US Army Medical Department for 20 years in assignments in the US, Japan and Germany in which he used his skills in health clinic administration. He received many awards for his work. He also obtained a M.S. degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California, continued post graduate study in Business Administration with the University of Northern Colorado and was a 1983 graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC). Except for Viet Nam, Cynthia accompanied him on all of his military assignments and they traveled to many places in the US, Asia and Europe, including Frankfurt, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy and Spain to name a few.
Skip retired from the US Army with the rank of Major in 1989. He then followed Cynthia to graduate school in North Carolina (Chapel Hill), where he worked as an unemployment specialist before they relocated to Bowie, MD. He subsequently worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington DC in organizational development and training. He was a trained mediator with recognition on the local, national and international level and provided assistance to such agencies as the American Society for Training and Development and the National Security Agency (NSA). He often remarked that a highlight of his career was to work with General Michael Hayden and his staff on one special project.
Skip volunteered with the American Red Cross meeting military members returning stateside from deployment overseas, and with Prince Georges County Capital Caring Hospice as a speaker. Skip also became a member of the Prince Georges County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and later, was appointed to the County’s Citizens Complaint Oversight Panel.
Throughout his life, Skip enjoyed reading scripture and collecting religious books. As a member of Largo Community Church, he sang in the LCC Choir at Christmas on several occasions, and volunteered with the LCC annual health fair and church anniversaries. He was a loving and devoted husband and provider, loved listening to music of all kinds from jazz to Motown oldies and opera. He also looked forward to the annual reunions with classmates from CGSC.
Skip leaves to cherish his memories his wife of almost 50 years, Cynthia, his sister Denise Manley, brother Lawrence High, his Great-Aunt Lillie Jones, and many nieces, nephews, family members and friends.