Gabe Blanford

A celebration of life for 17-year old Gabe Blanford of Chadron, NE, will be Friday, October 30th, 2020 at 1 pm on Elliott Field at Chadron State College. In case of inclement weather, services will be in the Chicoine Center, also at CSC.

In honor of Gabe, the family asks everyone to mask and social distance.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established for the Big Sky Shrine Club and Make A Wish of Nebraska. Donations can be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron NE 69337 

Online condolences may be left at

Gabriel James “Gabe” Blanford was born August 2, 2003, in Denver, Co, to Angie Flesner and Jason Blanford. He was freed of his earthly burdens after a life long battle with Trichothiodystrophy (TTD) in the comfort of his home surrounded by family in the early morning of October 23, 2020. 

Although TTD stripped him of many things, it did not strip his spirit for life. Gabe enjoyed meeting new people and he was able to capture the heart of anyone who came in contact with him.

He loved music, especially Dirty Paws by Of Monsters And Men, and loved giving out fist bumps and hugs.

Some of Gabe’s favorite places to be were his backyard, the mountains of Wyoming, and any river or body of water he could throw rocks into. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling, and golf, but was happiest when he was surrounded by his family. 

In 2010, Gabe was granted a wish by the Make A Wish Foundation of Nebraska to swim with the Dolphins at Discovery Cove in Florida.

After he was diagnosed with TTD, he got to venture across the United States twice to Bethesda, MD, where he and his family took part in the study of his 1-in-a-million disorder at the National Institutes of Health. The second trip to Maryland was extended, in thanks to so many supporters and donors, so he could travel to NYC and see the Statue of Liberty.

Over the years, Gabe and his family made countless trips to Minneapolis, MN, for advice, surgeries, and mobile equipment from the Shriners Hospital for Children. Although the majority of his travels were based around medical appointments, his family always found something new and fun to do wherever they were. 

Gabe became a member of the Chadron State College men’s basketball team in 2019 through Team Impact, a national non-profit whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children facing serious and chronic illnesses through the power of team.

Gabe was also an honorary captain for the CSC football team and was highly involved in bringing smiles to the students and staff within the Chadron Public Schools.

Gabe was known far and wide throughout the community, and many people knew his smiling face from the years he spent doing physical and occupational therapies at the Chadron Hospital. 

Gabe was rejoined with his baby brother, Owen Robbins, grandfather Terry Flesner, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, and countless TTD brothers and sisters.

He is survived by his father and step-mother; Jason & April Blanford of Chadron, his mother and step-father; Angie Flesner & Todd Robbins, of Alliance, siblings; Brooke & Micah Blanford, and Olivia Robbins, grandparents; Randy & Jeri Blanford of Chadron, Laura & Jerry Schultz of Seward, Jim & Dawn Jarrett of Powell, WY, Terry & Alice Robbins of Alliance, great grandmothers; Bernice Blair of Hay Springs, Mildred Emery of Powell, WY, aunts & uncles; Ashley Blanford of Chadron, Jeremy Martin of Goehner, NE, April Keith of Seward, NE, Jason Martin of Ravenna, NE, Frederic (Andrea) Schultz of Epping, ND, Terra (Rob) Eggum of Lehigh Acres, FL, Justin Flesner of Columbia Heights, MN, Jeremy Ray Schultz of Alamosa, CO, Jacob (Ashley) Jarrett of Powell, WY, Wade (Terra) Robbins of Sturgis, SD, Jesse (Liberty) Robbins of Cheyenne, WY, Tisha (DJ) Duffield of Torrington, WY, and numerous cousins.