Gene Blackburn

Gene BlackburnGene Blackburn, 72, of Brooklyn died at 9:54 p.m. April 4, 2010, at McDonough District Hospital in Macomb.

He was born Dec. 16, 1937, in Macomb, a son of Cyril E. and Reatha Reeves Blackburn. He first married Lucille Burnside on May 28, 1958, in Rushville. He later married Rose Benjamin Clayton on Feb. 13, 1993, in Kahokia, Mo. She survives.

Also surviving are his mother, Reatha Blackburn of Macomb; two daughters, Jo Ann (and Dennis) Billingsly of Camden and Marcia (and Kerry) Azbell of Peosta, Iowa; two stepsons, Sean (and Andrea) Clayton of Henrietta, N.Y., and Brent (and Kathy) Clayton of Rushville; one brother, Jim (and Sally Jo) Blackburn of Brooklyn; seven grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father, Cyril Blackburn; one stepdaughter, Loy Clayton; and two nephews, Steve and Mark Blackburn.

He was a farmer in the Brooklyn area for most of his life, retiring in 2008.

He was a member of Brooklyn United Methodist Church, Camden Masonic Lodge #648 AF and AM, Two Rivers Regional Council, Mid America Intermodal Port Authority, Schuyler County Republican Precinct Committeeman and Rushville Flying Club.

He served on the Schuyler County Board and Rushville School Board.

In 2009, he received the Conservation Award from the Soil and Water Conservation Agency.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at his church with David Haney officiating. Burial will follow in Brooklyn Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at Wood Funeral Home in Rushville.

Memorials may be made to his church or American Cancer Society.

Condolences may be sent to


Published in the Astoria South Fulton Argus on 4/7/2010