James Blackburn Sr: March 24, 1931 – January 21, 2022

James was born on March 24, 1931, to Mr. James Blackburn and Mrs. Oretta West in Clarksville, Arkansas. James was preceded in death by his loving wife of 68 years, Daisy L. Blackburn on February 5, 2021, also proceeding him was his brother Roy West. He is survived by his brother Edward West and sisters Annabelle West and Wanda Wilhoit. He also leaves behind three loving children, Linda Jenkins, Sharon Wheeler and James Blackburn Jr. and their spouses David, Brent, and Regina, respectively. James leaves in his wake an increasing legacy of 12 grandchildren, 37 great grandchildren, and 7 great great grandchildren and his loving nieces and nephews. James was an Army Veteran, serving in the Korean War between 1951 and 1953 engaging in active on the ground combat, and would on occasion share his war stories with his grandchildren.

After residing in Denver, Colorado for over 50 years, owning his own retail carpet and flooring sales and installation store, “Blackburn & Son” and faithfully serving as Sunday school Superintendent and other roles at Campbell AME Church for many years, he and Daisy made the move to Oak Harbor, Washington in 2005, to assist Linda and David in the Ministry at Living Faith Christian Center. He served as a Church Elder as well as the Director of Instructional ministry. Shortly after arriving in Washington, James decided to try his hand at business again purchasing a lawn service business which he named “The Lawn Surgeon” which he ran for a few more years before fully retiring and committing his time to serving in the church. James also purposed throughout his life to guide and mentor young men to develop into responsible adults through his active influence, and as a spiritual father. He was masterful in showing them the love of God, accompanied by firm and loving accountability and they loved him for it. Three benefactors of his love are, Willie (Sonny) Daniels, Andre Shinault, and Monte De’quals, whom James has loved as a father until his departure.

One of his favorite topics of conversation was the amazing Love of God and he devoted many hours working on his book manuscript which addressed the dilemma of atheism, asserting that the atheist use the very breath that the Lord gave them to deny His existence. One of his favorite bible verses is: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”. John 15:12-13 KJV

His tangible presence will be deeply missed by us all, however his spirit and memory stays within our hearts and his voice will continue to speak in our minds for years to come. His life was a Life Worthy of Celebrating!