OBITUARY

Donald Burrell Blackburn Sr.

September 2, 1940September 19, 2021

Donald Burrell Blackburn, Sr., age 81 of Macon, Georgia passed away Sunday, September 19, 2021. Don was born September 2, 1940 in Cornelia, Georgia to Busee (Burrell) and Waymon Blackburn. He grew up in Oakdale and attended Fitzhugh Lee Elementary and Campbell of Smyrna High School where he excelled in football, basketball and baseball serving as captain for all three sports. Don, being highly recruited as an All-American quarterback, signed a scholarship to play football at the University of Georgia. He was known to his teammates as “Blackie” and wore #28. While in Athens, he met and married Janet Vaske, his wife of 59 years.

In 1969, Don & Janet moved to Macon for Don to continue his career with Sylvania Electric. He would go on to form and run his own company, Don Blackburn & Associates until he retired in 2005.

He was a member of First Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder and chairman of the mission committee for many years. Don also served on denominational committees for Mission to the World and the PCA Foundation. He had a sincere heart for missions and dedicated time and resources to many projects in Africa and Haiti. Don served on the boards of El Shaddai and African Bible Colleges. He also served as chairman of the board of First Presbyterian Day School, where his children and several grandchildren attended.

Don was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing “a lot” with his golfing buddies. He served as president of Riverside Country Club and maintained memberships at Idle Hour Country Club, the Brickyard, and Brunswick Country Club. After retirement, Don enjoyed attending monthly meetings with DaBoys of Campbell group, which enabled him to renew many of the relationships from his high school days.

He is survived by his wife, Janet (Macon), daughter Lori (Tim) Harden of St. Simons Island, son Donnie (Pam) Blackburn of Sandy Springs, and daughter Natalie (Todd) Hunt of Macon. Grandchildren Rachel Harden (Jordan) Warhurst of Marietta, Taylor Harden of New York City, N.Y., Jacob & Jessica Blackburn of Sandy Springs and Laine, Nathan, Holly and Emily Hunt of Macon and Great Granddaughter, Lillie Joy Warhurst. Siblings, Shelba (Dean) Jones of Clarkesville, John (Connie) Blackburn of Lawrenceville, Denise (Don) Bluster of Clarkesville, and sister-in-law, Fran Blackburn of Jefferson and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father and mother and older brother, James Waymon Blackburn and grandson, Benjamin Harden.

Graveside services will be held at 2:00 PM Thursday, September 23rd at B.C. Grant Baptist Church in Alto, Georgia. A Celebration of Life Service will be held Friday, September 24th at First Presbyterian Church, Macon, Georgia at 11:00 AM. The family will greet friends following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First Presbyterian Church, Macon, Georgia, “Haiti Relief.” Services may be viewed livestream by visiting www.fpcmacon.org and clicking “Join us Live” on the home page.

Visit www.snowsmacon.com to express tributes. Snow’s Memorial Chapel, Bass Road, has charge of arrangements.

  • FAMILY

  • He is survived by his wife, Janet (Macon), daughter Lori (Tim) Harden of St. Simons Island, son Donnie (Pam) Blackburn of Sandy Springs, and daughter Natalie (Todd) Hunt of Macon. Grandchildren Rachel Harden (Jordan) Warhurst of Marietta, Taylor Harden of New York City, N.Y., Jacob & Jessica Blackburn of Sandy Springs and Laine, Nathan, Holly and Emily Hunt of Macon and Great Granddaughter, Lillie Joy Warhurst. Siblings, Shelba (Dean) Jones of Clarkesville, John (Connie) Blackburn of Lawrenceville, Denise (Don) Bluster of Clarkesville, and sister-in-law, Fran Blackburn of Jefferson and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father and mother and older brother, James Waymon Blackburn and grandson, Benjamin Harden.
  • DONATIONS

  • First Presbyterian Church

Services

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, September 23, 2021

  • A Celebration of Life

    Friday, September 24, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

  • Visitation - Following the Service

    Friday, September 24, 2021

Memories

Donald Burrell Blackburn Sr.

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Bob McLeod

September 27, 2021

I worked often with Don and his organization. He always went out of his way to make you feel welcome and that generous spirit permeated his entire company. Whenever I walked through their front door, I had a smile on my face because I knew it was going to be a good day.

My condolences to Donnie, the Blackburn family and all the friends left behind.

He will be missed.

Patricia (Pat) Barnett

September 24, 2021

Dear Janet and family,

My heart felt thoughts and prayers are with you now and have been for some time. Having known this wonderful man all through my high school years and since was both a privilege and a blessing, as I’m sure it was to so many others. If ever there was a Prince among men, it was Don Blackburn, and to know him was to love him. He will be missed by us all.

With my deepest sympathy and love,
Pat Barnett

"Bogey " Stoner

September 24, 2021

I never knew Don Blackburn personally but he had a big influence on my life without even realizing it. I was a freshman footballer at Campbell High School in 1961 and got to play a little with his brother Johnny. When I became a senior in 1964 I was playing a halfback position on the team and played defensive cornerback. In the second game of my senior year, we were playing defending State Champions Avondale High School. We were not a very talented team. After Avondale's first play from scrimmage, I found myself 40 yards downfield lying on my back. Needless to say, we were totally outplayed by the superior team. During halftime, Don Blackburn visited our dressing room and spoke to the Coach, who proceeded to tell our backfield that Don said it looked like we were walking instead of running during offensive plays. I have never forgotten what Don told our coach and in the third quarter, I scored our only touchdown for the night. I tried that night to run a little harder and have been running a little harder in all aspects of my life since that moment.
I know it may seem a little funny I remember that visit by him with our coach but it stuck with me all my life. I have always tried to run a little faster because what this man said that night inspired me. I do wish I would have had a chance to explain to Don that I was playing with a broken leg suffered two weeks earlier. My high school football career was over the following week when the leg was broken again in game 3 of the season. I just want to say to Don's family, please accept my condolences for your loss.
I know he was an inspiration to more people than just myself.
"Bogey" Stoner

Howell Newton

September 24, 2021

Janet, I am so sorry for this loss and you have my deepest sympathy and condolences. Don was a wonderful person and good friend. I am so glad I got to know him when I played golf with him for close to 10 years on the first or second Wednesday of every month.
I was unable to attend his memorial service today however I did watch it on line.
May God bless you and your family in the days ahead!
Howell Newton

Abigail Rhee

September 24, 2021


I will always remember Mr Blackburn’s kindness and warmth when I would see him as a child at the Blackburn Easter gatherings. We are praying for peace for your family and grateful that you have the hope and joy of being reunited w/ him in glory.

Abby (Kunz) Rhee

Brian Oglesby

September 24, 2021

It was always great to attend a UGA football or basketball game and see Mr. Blackburn there smiling and being in the environment he loved. He was a Godly man for sure! My prayers to the family!

May God bless y’all!
Brian Oglesby

Sam and Elaine Jones

September 22, 2021

Dear Janet and Family, Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you all. Don was truly a very special person who became a great Impact on the lives of those who knew him. He will truly be missed by all and especially throughout The Bulldog Nation.
With Love,
Sam and Elaine Jones

Bobby Causey

September 22, 2021

Dear Janet,
So very sorry to learn of Don’s passing, what a special person with such tremendous character.
Both of you have always been great friends from the time you moved to Macon and we watched as your family grew.
He and I enjoyed our golf together at Riverside and more recently, just a few years ago at Brunswick Country Club.
I will miss him and his smiling face!

May God bless all the Blackburn family!

Bobby & Rachael Causey

William McCullough

September 22, 2021

Don and I were teammates at UGA. He lead by example and his leadership was outstanding. We reconnected when he got me to come play in the Lettermen's golf outings in the Spring of each year.
He is and will be missed by the many people he touched by the way he led his life. Rest in Peace old friend.

Lynn Brown Johnson

September 21, 2021

To the Blackburn Family. From one Oakdale gal to my dear sweet friends from Oakdale. My heart is also sad to hear of Dons passing. I have the fondest memories of your family and ours of years long ago. While we may not see each other my mind drifts to the long summer days in Oakdale Community and many friends from church, school and community gatherings. Please know Charles and I lift you in prayer.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Donald Burrell Blackburn, Sr., age 81 of Macon, Georgia passed away Sunday, September 19, 2021. Don was born September 2, 1940 in Cornelia, Georgia to Busee (Burrell) and Waymon Blackburn. He grew up in Oakdale and attended Fitzhugh Lee Elementary and Campbell of Smyrna High School where he excelled in football, basketball and baseball serving as captain for all three sports. Don, being highly recruited as an All-American quarterback, signed a scholarship to play football at the University of Georgia. He was known to his teammates as “Blackie” and wore #28. While in Athens, he met and married Janet Vaske, his wife of 59 years.

In 1969, Don & Janet moved to Macon for Don to continue his career with Sylvania Electric. He would go on to form and run his own company, Don Blackburn & Associates until he retired in 2005.

He was a member of First Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder and chairman of the mission committee for many years. Don also served on denominational committees for Mission to the World and the PCA Foundation. He had a sincere heart for missions and dedicated time and resources to many projects in Africa and Haiti. Don served on the boards of El Shaddai and African Bible Colleges. He also served as chairman of the board of First Presbyterian Day School, where his children and several grandchildren attended.

Don was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing “a lot” with his golfing buddies. He served as president of Riverside Country Club and maintained memberships at Idle Hour Country Club, the Brickyard, and Brunswick Country Club. After retirement, Don enjoyed attending monthly meetings with DaBoys of Campbell group, which enabled him to renew many of the relationships from his high school days.

He is survived by his wife, Janet (Macon), daughter Lori (Tim) Harden of St. Simons Island, son Donnie (Pam) Blackburn of Sandy Springs, and daughter Natalie (Todd) Hunt of Macon. Grandchildren Rachel Harden (Jordan) Warhurst of Marietta, Taylor Harden of New York City, N.Y., Jacob & Jessica Blackburn of Sandy Springs and Laine, Nathan, Holly and Emily Hunt of Macon and Great Granddaughter, Lillie Joy Warhurst. Siblings, Shelba (Dean) Jones of Clarkesville, John (Connie) Blackburn of Lawrenceville, Denise (Don) Bluster of Clarkesville, and sister-in-law, Fran Blackburn of Jefferson and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father and mother and older brother, James Waymon Blackburn and grandson, Benjamin Harden.

Graveside services will be held at 2:00 PM Thursday, September 23rd at B.C. Grant Baptist Church in Alto, Georgia. A Celebration of Life Service will be held Friday, September 24th at First Presbyterian Church, Macon, Georgia at 11:00 AM. The family will greet friends following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to First Presbyterian Church, Macon, Georgia, “Haiti Relief.” Services may be viewed livestream by visiting www.fpcmacon.org and clicking “Join us Live” on the home page.

Visit www.snowsmacon.com to express tributes.
Snow’s Memorial Chapel, Bass Road, has charge of arrangements.