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Charles's Story

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KEYSER, W.Va. Charles W. Blackburn, 94, of Keyser, passed away on Sunday, June 11, 2017, at WVU Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.
Born Oct. 24, 1922, in Keyser, he was the son of the late Leonard W. Blackburn and Nina Eagle Blackburn. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Martha Lee Kight Blackburn, and his brother, Harry W Blackburn.
Charles was a lifelong resident of Mineral County, and was the patriarch of his family. He grew up on the family dairy farm in the Limestone Road area, and at a very young age joined his father in daily milk deliveries to Keyser. He was a 1942 graduate of Keyser High School, and served in the World War II U.S. Coast Guard from 1942-1945 as a radioman. For a time he was employed by Glenn L. Martin aircraft company in Baltimore.
Charles had an entrepreneurial spirit, and returned to Keyser to establish his concrete block making business, supplying blocks for the construction of many businesses in the Keyser area. He owned Maryland Silica Sand in Garrett County, and supplied the sand for the construction of the tower and spillway of the Bloomington Dam Army Corps of Engineers project, now known as Jennings Randolph Lake. In the 1970's following the death of his mother, he converted the family dairy farm on Patterson Creek Road in Burlington, to a beef cattle operation. The farming continues to this day, operated by his children and grandchildren. More recently he developed residential and commercial properties, designing and building the Blackburn Square business complex on Rt 220 south of Keyser. In the days just before his passing, he was working on the completion of a new office facility in Keyser.
Charles was member of Kelly-Mansfield Post 52, Davis Lodge 51, Ali Ghan Shrine, Potomac Shrine, Boumi Temple, and was past president of the Ocean City Shrine. He enjoyed serving as an ambassador to the Shriner's Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. He was a member of Burlington United Methodist Church, and in past years taught the Junior High Sunday school class at Trinity Lutheran Church in Keyser.
He first laid eyes on the love of his life, Martha Lee Kight, of Keyser, at a Sadie Hawkins dance at Potomac State College. They married on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1946, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Keyser, with the ceremony being held that morning between Sunday school and the church worship service.
Charles is survived by their children, David L Blackburn of Keyser, Charlene Liller and husband, Terry of Keyser, Robin Bright and husband, Simeon M IV, of Burlington, and Penny Riffle and husband, Rex of Burlington. Ten grandchildren, Michael Blackburn, Melanie Blackburn, Jason Liller, Robin Schelling, Christian Liller, Amanda Liller, Simeon Bright V, Charles Bright, Amanda Smith, Gabrielle Newcomer; as well as several great-grandchildren.
A private graveside service will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2017, at Queen's Point Cemetery, Keyser with military honors given by the U.S. coast Guard National Honor Guard and the American Legion Post 13 Honor Guard.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2017, at 4 p.m. at Burlington Union Church, Burlington. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be directed to: Shriner's Hospital for Children, 3551 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140 or Burlington United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 57, Burlington, WV 26710.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Markwood Funeral Home, Keyser.
His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." Matthew 25:23
Condolences may be left for the family after Charles W. Blackburn's obituary on www.markwoodfuneralhome.com.
Published on June 13, 2017
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