Kobena Abbam Blanson was born on Tuesday May 21, 1957 in Winneba, Ghana. Kobena was the first born of Kodwo Abbam Blankson, preceded in death March 3, 2001, and Mrs. Kate Ekua Blankson of Brooklyn, New York. He was affectionately known as Ebo by his family, and Koby by his friends. He remembers playful days with his cousins, Nenyi and K.B., who collectively coined themselves the "Rolling Beach Boys." They played the guitar, piano, and different instruments, singing and dancing. At this time his grandfather, Paapa, tried to teach him to play the piano, but he would rather go outside to play soccer. He later regretted not learning to play the piano. Kobena also had fond memories of his grandmother.,"Aunt", baking fresh bread, which he loved. He would get some fresh bread each day before school and trying to convince his little sister , Elsie, to also attend school. When she agreed to go , he would lead her by the hand.
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Kobena come to the United States in April 1968 with Elsie and his Aunt Ama. While in Ghana , his aunt, "M'maa," made him memorize poems each day . His father's sisters and brothers taught him so much, so he was able to speak English well, read and write, and was ready for American schools. He attended P.S.161, then I.S. 320 (The Jackie Robinson School). There he took the exam for the four speciality high schools in New York and accepted admission to the prestigious Brooklyn Technical High School. He graduated from Brooklyn Tech with honors and was then admitted to Medgar Evers College, which he attended for a year before transferring to Baruch College. He graduated from Baruch in 1976 with a degree in Business Administration, once again with honors, Magna Cum Laude. Kobena shared that he LOVED school and LOVED to read!
After college Kobena worked for a non-profit organization. He also worked for the U.S. Postal Service part-time until he acquired a full-time position at New York University (NYU) Medical Center in the IT Department. He worked in this position from 1986-2003, when NYU merged with Mount Sinai Hospital,and outsourced their IT Department to IBM. Kobena continued on, Working with IBM for 5 years. Kobena was working for the New York Transit Authority Security Department when he took ill. He joined the NYC Transit family in 2011, and they have been a great source of support during the time he was out sick. Kobena was proud that he always had perfect attendance and was rewarded for it. Even when he was sick at work, he never took time off until he needed to take chemo.
Koby, as his friends called him, had a plethora of friends who called, visited, and sent well wishes when he was not feeling well. He was loved by many. He wanted his friends to know that he loves and appreciates them. He shared that he had a great group of friends from all over, including friends in California that he took trips with. He recalled his good friends Allen, Ricky, George, and others who came to see him all the time. He was looking forward to a road trip he had planned with Allen's family this summer. His life partner, Ann, and her daughter, Anika, were a constant presence and source of all love and support for him. They were a family and hr loved them dearly.
During his last weeks, Ebo was extremely sharp and enjoyed sharing precious memories, which he recorded for Tamika to share with everyone. He talked much about his beloved role as an "Uncle Ebo". He shared, "When Tamika was born, I was so happy when I went to visit Elsie as soon as she got home from the hospital, and I remember holding Tamika. She was the first baby I officially held. Right then she took my heart. When Tamika came back from Ghana and Elsie and I were roommates again, I would run home from work and take Tamika upstairs to my best friends, Lucille and Eddie."He joked about being in between jobs and "Tamika took me in when I was homeless and was pregnant with Elle. I stayed with her for a month. Tamika and I have always been close, but during that month Tamika and I got close again. She was obsessed with having the baby's nursery ready in time, so together we prepped the room to be painted pink.Then Elle came, and she took my heart. I speak to Elle every month and never skipped a birthday. When Elsie told me she draws, I asked her to draw me a picture. The following week she sent me a picture and a get well card. I showed it to everyone! He proudly recalled, "I remember taking Jaimel to a Knicks game at MSG. I tried to spend time with all my nieces and nephews. I remember helping Jane when she had her kids. I tried to spend time with her two boys, Deonte and Keondre too. He expressed, "I'm sorry I didn't get to take all my nieces and nephews somewhere special, though I did try." Ebo enjoyed taking his nieces and nephews out, attending their graduation, games, and celebrating their.
He also spoke of his memories of times with his family. From taking Elsie to her first Rod Stewart concert, to watching Ato in his high school basketball games. He recalled revisiting those piano lessons, then guitar lessons, to no avail, then succeeding at learning to conga drums, which he played for the family at cousins Awo's birthday party. He had a great time! He had the fondest of memories of Sister Ama, his favorite aunt, who he visited all the time in the Bronx. He said, "She always sent me home with fresh bread and food packed." Uncle Kow taught him to drive over by Yankees stadium, and he said he would forever be grateful. He said that he loved all his uncles and aunties. He recalled Uncle RAH came to visit him from London, and Uncle FE coming to see him when he was sick, and he appreciated that so much. He wanted to thank Auntie Darling, for all her kind words and birthday cards over the years. He said that he was very thankful to Elsie for coming from Georgia every week and taking good care of him. He enjoyed laughing with her during those times and listening to the playlist David sent him.
A memory that was very cherished to him was giving his father his last shave before he passed. He was extremely grateful to have spent that time with him. He said that he loved his mother and father, and he tried to do everything to please them . He hopes he made them proud. He wants his mother, sisters and brother, all his nieces and nephews, Ann and Anika, friends, family, and coworkers to know that he loved them and appreciate the loved them and appreciate the love he was shown, especially when he was sick. Kobena is survived in death by his mother (Kate), his sisters (Elsie & Jane), his brother (Alex), his life partner (Ann) her daughter (Anika), his nieces, nephews, uncles, aunts, and a host of cousins and close friends.
Kobena said he had a wonderful life and he has no regrets. He loved the song, What a Wonderful World, by Louis Armstrong. That's why he wants his cousin, K.B., to play it as his final song.