SGM James W. Blackburn Jr. (retired), 83, of Cleveland, passed away Sunday, July 27, 2014, at his home.
He was a retired sergeant major with the Tennessee National Guard where he served 43 years. The Tennessee National Guard Armory on Dalton Pike was named and dedicated in his honor in 1995. He was also an assistant director of the Bradley County Emergency Management Agency for 10 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James W. Blackburn Sr. and Laura Swartz Blackburn; and sisters: Dorothy Kimsey, Edna Brown and Marcella McIntosh.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Joyce Wilson Blackburn of Cleveland; children: Ken Blackburn and wife, Sherry, of Franklin, Becky Griffin and husband, Richard, of Murfreesboro and Joe Blackburn and wife, Jackie, and Alan Blackburn and wife, Traci, all of Cleveland; seven grandchildren: Matthew Blackburn, Katy Sargent, Chelsie Blackburn, Jake Blackburn, Cody Griffin, Stephanie Rogers and Melissa Blackburn; six great-grandchildren: Parker Rogers, Jordan Rogers, Schyler Rogers, Addisyn Achata, Claire Blackburn and Greyson Blackburn; brother, John B. Blackburn of Cleveland; sister, Sarah Jane West of Powell; and several nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in the chapel of Fike Funeral Home with Pastor Herbert Conley officiating.
Interment will follow in Hilcrest Memorial Gardens with full military honors provided by the Tennessee National Guard.
His family will receive friends today from 5 to 8 p.m. at the James W. Blackburn National Guard Armory, 4185 Dalton Pike S.E., next to Waterville Elementary School and one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.
The family requests that memorials be made to the Members First Credit Union, Cleveland National Guard Retired Association, 1007 Keith St. NW, Cleveland, TN 37311.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Blackburn family guest book at fikefh.com.