James T. “Blackie” Blackburn, 90, Topeka, passed away Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
Blackie was born February 16, 1930 in Monarch, Oklahoma, the son of Thomas and Ruth (Hazel) Blackburn. He graduated from Washburn Rural High School in 1948, was a letterman in three sports and graduated from Washburn University in 1956 with a Bachelors in Business Administration
He served in the U.S. Navy from 1948 to 1952 and was stationed various places including Italy where he accumulated many stories he loved to talk about with his grandchildren including driving for Grace Carney along with Mamie Eisenhower.
Blackie loved to coach youth basketball and baseball at Ken Berry League where he made a lasting impression on the lives of many.
He was a member of the Downtown Rotary where he was a Paul Harris fellow, and the Arab Shrine Greeters.
Blackie was the second generation owner and operator of Blackburn Nursery and Lawn Service until he semi-retired. He loved to fish, watch Washburn and KU sports, work around the yard and the farm, watch rodeos, and go to the casino.
He married Barbara Miller on July 19, 1953 in Topeka. His wife of 66 years survives. Other survivors include son, Brett (Suzy) Blackburn, of Topeka ; daughter, Linda Blackburn of Hutchison; 5 grandchildren; and 4 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Tom Blackburn; and a sister, Wynona Seward.
Cremation has taken place and a Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 3, 2020 at the Dove Southwest Chapel, 3700 SW Wanamaker Road. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service. Private family inurnment will be in Mount Hope Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Arab Shrine Transportation fund for the Children’s Hospital, c/o Arab Shrine Temple, 1305 S Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66612 or Midland Hospice, 200 SW Frazier Circle, Topeka, KS 66606.
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