John Alfred Blackmon Jr.
November 9, 1933 – April 14, 2018
John Alfred Blackmon, 84, died in Columbus, Georgia, on April 14, 2018, after a brief illness.
He was born on November 9, 1933, in Columbus, Georgia, to Mary Jo Hilton and John Alfred Blackmon. He attended Wynnton Grammar School and graduated from Columbus High School in 1951. He received a BS degree from Auburn University in 1955 where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. After graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force. He graduated from the Air Force Navigation and Radar Observer schools in 1957. After three years of active duty service, he attended the Lamar School of Law at Emory University and received an LL.B degree in 1961. On November 30, 1966, he married Connie Comer of Tampa, Florida. He flew as a navigator with the Georgia Air National Guard for 13 years and received the Vietnam Service Medal. In 1974, he was admitted to the US Air Force Judge Advocates Corp., where he served for seven years and retired as a colonel. After law school, he remained in Atlanta where he raised his family and had a long, successful law career until retiring in 1999. His law career afforded him many opportunities to serve the public. Following law school, he served as an attorney in the Georgia State Law Department where he rose to the position of Assistant Attorney General. In 1968 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Revenue. In 1970, Governor Maddox appointed him State Revenue Commissioner. Then Governor Carter reappointed him in 1971, and he served through Carter’s term. His service in state government was marked by his work to support Carter’s reorganization plan. This work included an internal reorganization of the Revenue Department that modernized the state’s money management system. Much of this work remains in place today, most notably the integration of the process for filing federal and state income tax, simplifying the process for all Georgians.
While in state government, he lobbied for the initial funds to build the Georgia World Congress Center including advocating for the state’s first hotel/motel tax to fund it. Throughout his career, he continued to work on behalf of the Georgia hospitality industry including expanding the hotel/motel tax to help fund other projects key to the modern growth of Atlanta, including the 1988 Democratic Convention, the Georgia Dome, and the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Following his state government career, Mr. Blackmon joined the Atlanta law firm of Smith, Cohen, Ringel, Kohler & Martin (now Smith, Gambrell & Russell) where he became an equity partner in the firm in 1978 and a retired partner in 1999. John maintained high levels of civic engagement throughout his life. Following the 1994 midterm elections, at the request of then Governor Zell Miller, John served as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia from 1995 to 1997. During his tenure as chairman, the Georgia Democratic Party helped to elect Senator Max Cleland in 1996 and kept Georgia in play for the presidential election. For many years, he was a member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and is especially proud of his membership in the Atlanta Lawyers Club, the Old War Horse Lawyers Club, the Gridiron Society of the University of Georgia, and the Rotary Club of Harris County. Notably, he is a founding member of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church.
Survivors include his wife, Connie Comer Blackmon of Pine Mountain, Georgia, his daughters Elizabeth Blackmon (Tripp Cook) and Mary Campbell (Sam), grandsons John and Robert Campbell, brother Joseph Hilton Blackmon (Henrietta), niece Jennifer Blackmon McGrady (Jonathan), and sister-in-law Pamela Burns.
Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church. Interment will take place after the service in the Memory Garden at the church followed by a reception in the parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Nicholas Episcopal Church Memory Garden or Building Fund, 69 Mobley Road, Hamilton, Georgia.
Fond memories and condolences may be offered at www.shcolumbus.com.
- Memorial Service Saturday, April 21, 2018
John Alfred Blackmon Jr.
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
receive updates when new memories are postedRECEIVE UPDATES
April 22, 2018
Connie and Family,
I was so saddened to see John had passed. I am honored to have worked with him, been his friend and saw first hand his commitment and service to Georgia and his Party. A commitment that is rarely seen with excellent results that were even more rare. What a great career!
I have so many fond memories of our work together and have and will continue to treasure them.
Please accept mine and Cathy's deep and heartfelt condolences to you all.
April 20, 2018
My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Jane Hill (Mrs. Harold N. Hill, Jr.)
April 19, 2018
Connie, my condolences to you and your family. I had the pleasure of working with John over many years in his different capacities: Commissioner of the Department of Revenue and as GADA's outside legal attorney.
Georgia Automobile Dealers Association
Collie Burnett Jr
April 19, 2018
To the Blackmon family, my condolences on the passing of John. I had the opportunity to meet him when his wife ( Connie ) and I worked for the Atlanta Regional Commission many years ago. What a nice guy and true gentleman.
My sympathy to you Connie and may the lord bring you and your family comfort at this time.