Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home & Hillcrest Mausoleum & Memorial Park
7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX
Marvin Daniel Blackburn
September 24, 1943 – May 15, 2019
Our beloved husband, cousin, and friend, Marvin Daniel Blackburn III, left us for Heaven on Wednesday, May 15, 2019. No longer held captive to cancer, he is now whole again, embraced in the arms of his grandparents, Marvin Daniel and Mary Blackburn and Falba Foster, and parents, Cynthia Foster Blackburn and Dr. Marvin Daniel Blackburn, Jr. Daniel is survived by Barry Creel, his husband of almost 27 years, his cousins who loved their ‘Danny’ dearly, a multitude of friends, and his beloved Boston Terrier, Scooter.
Born on September 24, 1943, in St. Petersburg, Florida, Daniel got to Texas as fast as he could! He was a proud Texan, living in Dallas all his life. He was a graduate of Ben Milam Elementary, Highland Park High School, and SMU for his undergraduate and graduate degrees. Summers during college were full of happiness in the outdoors as he worked for the YMCA at Camp Grady Spruce.
When Daniel was a young tyke he joined the Cub Scouts, where his grandmother, Mary Blackburn was the Den Mother. Daniel loved Scouting, and continued in Boy Scouts to the point of achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. After his official days as a Boy Scout were over, Daniel served for several years as a Scout Master. During those years Dan traveled with his scouts for multiple hiking trips in Colorado, as well as many ventures to Philmont Scout Ranch. Dan thought Philmont was heaven on Earth, and would reminisce about time spent there throughout his life. After working for the YMCA and graduating from SMU, Daniel began his career with the Richardson ISD, teaching high school journalism and psychology at Berkner High School. He loved those years teaching students “who wanted to be there.” Later Dan was asked to move into administration, working in public relations and helped get the “World Wide Web” into Richardson schools for the first time. Daniel was well loved by all his student and colleagues in Richardson and made many friends while there. Daniel retired from the RISD in 1998 to expand one of his entrepreneurial ventures—Bed & Breakfast Inns of North America, the first Bed & Breakfast directory on the internet. This venture opened up opportunities for travel to many of the Inns around the country, making new friends along the way.
Growing up in Dallas, Daniel was raised by his Blackburn grandparents, and had many happy memories living on Travis Street. Daniel would talk often of how he and his grandfather, Pop, would walk up the railroad track, which is now the Katy Trail, to enjoy some ice cream at Highland Park Pharmacy. When Dan began middle school, his grandparents moved to one of the cottage homes on Stanford Avenue in University Park, where Dan lived until 1996.
Daniel attended Oak Lawn United Methodist Church with his grandparents, where he remembered making stained glass windows with melted crayon wax. Later, they would join Highland Park United Methodist Church where they were members for many years. In the early 90’s Dan joined The Cathedral of Hope, and through friends there, he was introduced to Barry Creel, a Kindergarten teacher, and from that introduction on October 10, 1992, his life would be forever changed. From the first introduction, Daniel and Barry discovered they were kindred souls, and would treasure a relationship together for the next 26 years, 7 months, and 5 days. During those years Daniel and Barry enjoyed travel around the country, and cruises around Hawaii and to Europe. Daniel and Barry were known for hosting many events and parties in their home, welcoming hundreds of friends over the years. While Barry’s talents were inside the home, Daniel’s expertise was outside. He loved to create beautiful gardens, and had the greenest of thumbs! This was evident as he studied to become a Dallas Master Gardener.
All who have ever met Daniel were embraced by his kind and gentle spirit. If there was ever a man who never took off his rose colored glasses, it was Daniel. He saw the best in everyone. He was not cynical or sarcastic. He always wanted the other person he was with to feel at ease and valued. Daniel was meticulous—his T’s were always crossed, and his I’s were always dotted. He could wire up a sound system, put a dimmer on a light switch, whip up a mean dish of Deviled Eggs, and send morse code to a vessel in need. Given enough time, Dan could probably send up a smoke signal from a campfire he started with two sticks and a mirror reflecting the sun. A true Boy Scout, he was ALWAYS prepared! Of all the talents and gifts Dan was blessed with, the greatest will be the love he held for his husband Barry. An abiding love between them was shared to Daniel’s last breath. Barry held Daniel’s hand has he drew his last, and it was the most precious, though heartbreaking moment they shared together. “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good…”
Visitation in Daniel’s honor, Monday, May 20, 6-8pm at Sparkman-Hillcrest Funeral Home. Memorial Service, Saturday, June 8, 11am at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Daniel's memory to Incarnation Academy, the school where Barry teaches. Incarnation has been such a help to Barry this past year as he has cared for Daniel, especially at the end of his life. Memorials in Daniel's memory will go to something special to enrich the lives of the students, so that his memory may always be a blessing. Barry can think of no better way to honor Dan!
Incarnation Academy 3966 McKinney Avenue Dallas, TX 75204
3966 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204
- Visitation in Daniel’s honor Monday, May 20, 2019
- Memorial Service Saturday, June 8, 2019
Marvin Daniel Blackburn
May 18, 2019
Barry, I am so sorry for your loss. Continued thoughts and prayers for you, sweet friend.
I am so happy and blessed that I got to meet Dan, a few summer's ago, when Renee' and I drove out to Texas to visit. Dan and you treated us like Queens! Dan was so kind, sweet, and caring. I have such wonderful memories from that trip! I love you, sweet friend!
Hayley and Rebecca Brese
May 18, 2019
Barry, I will always remember the Circle meetings we had at your beautiful home! Always the most gracious host! My favorite was when Dan announced that the two of you were officially a couple and how happy you were together. Not everyone gets to experience the kind of love that you two shared...Becca and I have it as well and my heart is so heavy for you. All our love to you. We MUST get together this summer! 😘
May 18, 2019
Barry - so sorry for yours, and our, loss.
Daniel put us on the internet, with Bed and Breakfast Inns almost 25 or 26 years ago. This was quite an achievement that many years ago.
We are so glad that you found each other, and were able to spend so many good years together.
May he rest in peace, and peace be with you.
May 17, 2019
Daniel, his mother Cynthia and father Dr. Dan have been part of the ‘vocabulary ‘ of our neighborhood as long as I remember. Thank you for sharing such a caring, compassionate man Lord! Rest in Peace