Alfred E. Blank


Blank, Alfred E., 85, died Monday, May 11, 2020 at home. He was the beloved husband of Arline (Riddell) Blank. Born in Taunton, MA, a son of the late Bernard and Anna (Bloom) Blank, he had lived in Providence for 64 years, previously living in Taunton, MA. He was the owner of the former Children’s Shop, retiring in 1985. Alfred was an Army veteran, serving during peacetime.  Alfred was a member of Temple Emanu-El, Jewish War Veterans, American Legion,  Redwood Masonic Lodge, Shriners and James L. Maher Center.

Devoted father of Richard Blank and his wife, Lauren Inker, of Needham, MA and David Blank of Bristol, RI. Dear brother of Mark Blank of Philadelphia, PA. Loving grandfather of Sam and Margo. Cherished uncle of Audrey Licht and Mitchell Resnick.

Funeral services and shiva will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Al’s Fund for David, a charity for his son’s group home, Jenny Lane, at: or Temple Emanu-El, Minyan Fund, 99 Taft Ave., Providence, RI 02906.


  1. Amanda
    May 12, 2020

    A wonderful co-worker and a great work friend. When I had my surgery a few years ago, he didn’t know why I was out of work and was so worried. He brought a card to work for me and asked them to send it to meat home. Used to always hold customers babies,

  2. Laura
    May 12, 2020

    What a remarkable man! Al was so loving and kind. He would always ask me about my particular situation at the time and tell me to call him if I needed help.
    He came into Whole Foods to interview and so many customers interrupted the interview to tell him they would love to see him each week, I told him I would be crazy if I didn’t hire him! Best decision was made that day. I will miss his crazy jokes and the stories of his life. A special, loved and cherished man.

  3. Michele
    May 13, 2020

    A super sweet awesome guy loved his jokes and stories for sure. Everyone loved him, how could you not.
    He always gifted us co-workers challah bread and honey for Rosh Hashana every year. Very thoughtful fun loving man

  4. Sierra
    May 13, 2020

    What an amazingly kind and thoughtful man. From the first day I met him and every day on, he was always full of such warmth, humor & honesty. Al could make anyone smile or laugh in an instant and it always felt like complete strangers were actually life-long friends of his. I feel lucky that I had the chance to hear his crazy jokes & the stories of his life that he always found the brightside of. Such a wonderful soul that will never be forgotten❤

  5. Patricia Botelho
    May 13, 2020

    What a great man. Always worried how others were no matter how he felt. He will be missed by all.

  6. Vicki Koelsch
    May 13, 2020

    I lived next door for a number of years and always enjoyed our morning chats. What a wonderful kind man.

  7. Paul Segal
    May 13, 2020

    I sat next to Al at Temple Emanu-El minyan for many years. He was always concerned about others and was a kind, gentle man. When I had my illness, he would call me on a regular basis and asked if there was anything he could do. When I heard that he was ill, I called him and he put on a cheerful face, even though I knew that he was seriously ill. He visited his son who was in a group home on a weekly basis, and would buy food for the entire home. He was a good, kind, thoughtful man and I will truly miss him.

  8. Karen Drucker Stern
    May 13, 2020

    I knew Al both from the morning minyan at Temple Emanuel and when he worked at Whole Foods. He was always so friendly and upbeat. May his memory be a blessing to everyone who loved him.

  9. tina fain
    May 13, 2020

    He was a regular at the morning minyan on Friday. I always sat in the row behind him – a kind and gentle man. He will be missed by all those whose life he touched.

  10. Barbara Domenico
    May 13, 2020

    Arline, we’re so sorry to hear about Al’s passing. We’ll always remember him with a smile on his face. He was a good decent man. Stay well Boobie & Steve

  11. Steve Cohn
    May 13, 2020

    I had the privilege of meeting Al a few times when his grandson joined Garden City Lodge in Newtonville, MA. He was so proud that his grandson was joining a Masonic Lodge and trying to keep the tradition going. Al was a true gentleman and a mensch. Our condolences go out to his entire family. Rest in Peace, my good Brother.

  12. Stephen Ashapa
    May 14, 2020

    Only the fondest memories of Alfred. Our deepest sympathies to all the family. Steve and Vreni

  13. Matt Cook
    May 14, 2020

    Arline, so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful man Al was, also hysterical! we will miss him dearly here at the store, especially his stories and jokes.

  14. Donna Groff
    May 14, 2020

    I have worked with Al’s son, David, for the past 30+ years. Al was such a loving and caring father, not just to David but to his housemates as well. Often giving them family where none existed.
    He always had a smile and a joke. never forgetting to let staff know how much he appreciated all they do. I am a better person from knowing Al. I greatly miss him. My condolences to his family, you have lost an unbelievably kind soul.

  15. Stell
    May 14, 2020

    I was so lucky to call Al my brother-in-law. He was the best in the world. Love him and will miss him terribly.
    Love, Stellie

  16. Ann Miller
    May 15, 2020

    I knew Al in the early 90′s when his nephew and family were our neighbors in Pawtucket. He introduced himself to me when he saw the address on my check in the Eastside Market. Ever since then, for over 20 years, he has been friendly and kind in his greetings; at Eastside, Whole Foods, and Temple Emanu-El. He was still asking me how my children were doing when he returned to minyan for a while recently, and did not dwell on his own troubles. To Arline and his family; I am so sorry for your loss; such a wonderful and kind man. May his memory be for a blessing.

  17. Shandelle
    May 18, 2020

    Al was one of the first people I met at Temple EmanuEl after my husband’s passing. He made me feel I was in the right place with people who cared and helped me through a most difficult time. He continued through the years to be a friend always asking how things were going. May Arline and his family find peace with their happy memories.

  18. Stu Altman
    May 22, 2020

    Hi Richard. I saw your father on many occasion’s when he was a cashier at Whole Foods. Sorry to hear about this. My thoughts, and prayers are with you, and family.Stu Altman

    • Richard Blank
      May 27, 2020

      Hi Stu,
      Thanks so much for your kind words. I hope that your family and you are well.
      Please email me if you would ever like to catch up.
      Best Wishes

  19. Richard Blank
    May 27, 2020

    My family and I would like to thank everyone for the lovely words that were left about my dad. They offered us great comfort, especially my mom. If my dad is looking down on us, I’m sure that he has a big smile on his face.

  20. Beverly & Lewis Rooks
    Jun 10, 2020

    Lew & I want to express our sincere sympathy on your loss. Please take comfort knowing he was a wonderful husband, son, brother & father. May he Rest In Peace.

  21. Robert Schwartz
    Jun 11, 2020

    Expressing sympathy on your recent loss. So sorry. I am a children friend of Richard. We went to school together back in the very early 1970s.

  22. Naomi Parker
    Jun 30, 2020

    Al was an extraordinarily kind and down-to-earth person. He was a true mensch. I got to know him at Emanu-El during the year I said Kaddish for my father. He had such a big heart and was so wise in the most eloquently simple, unpretentious way. He knew exactly when to ask how you were and when to just stand in the same row and when to make a joke or tease Irving and lift everyone’s spirits. He was a steady and comforting presence. He was both direct and discreet. Al really cared about everyone. I always looked forward to seeing him. He had such warmth, and he taught me a lot about the value of simplicity, of just being heartfelt and direct. Of accompanying others. He was a fixture at minyan, part of the family. It is very sobering to imagine returning without him.

    Later, I saw Al at Whole Foods many times, and always got in his line when I could! It was such a pleasure to talk to him. He was so clear about what mattered, and he enjoyed people so very much. He made everyone feel important and that life was full of meaning.

    That is no small thing. In fact, it is almost everything.

    I am profoundly grateful to have had the privilege of knowing Al.

    To his family – my deepest condolences.
    May his memory be for a blessing.

    May you find some sustenance in the knowledge of how Al inspired others, like me, to learn so much and live more fully.

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