Walter W. Blackburn - 83

7/10/1935 - 5/7/2019

Rockford, IL

Walter W. Blackburn, age 83, formerly of Byron passed away on Tuesday May 7, 2019 at Bickford Senior Living in Rockford. He was born on July 10, 1935 in Peoria, IL the son of Harold and Vivian (Kunkle) Blackburn. He served his country in the United States Air Force. While stationed in St. John’s Newfoundland he met Jean who would become his first wife and mother of his three children.  Walter worked for 25 years with GTE in Byron before retirement which he enjoyed for over 30 years. He was very involved in the Byron area as a long time member of the Lion’s Club, VFW, and The Byron(Happy) Hookers fishing club. He was an outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish with his buddies including taking trips to fish in northern Minnesota and Canada. He was an avid traveler who loved to take trips in his RV and wintering in Texas. Walter was a die hard Green Bay Packer Fan who liked to play golf in his spare time. He was a genuinely happy person who made many friends throughout his life. Some of his favorite times were spent with his friends doing the chain gang for Byron Tiger football games. He is survived by his children, John Blackburn of Rockford, David Blackburn of Rockford, and Dawn (Brian) Harter of Sycamore; grandchildren, Brent Blackburn, Megan Blackburn, Ryan Blackburn, Chad Blackburn, Haley Blackburn, and Alana Blackburn; nieces and nephew, Julie (Mike) Spears, Jona Babington, Rick Chenoweth, Debra (Doug) Crum, and Lisa Chenoweth; and numerous friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Vivian; grandparents, Walter and Nellie Kunkle; his beloved wife Norma; the mother of his children, Jean McGrath; sister and brother-in-law Janet and John Babington; and nephew John Babington. A visitation will be held on Friday May 10, 2019 from 5-6:30 PM at Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home, 506 W. Merchant St. in Byron followed by a funeral service starting at 6:30 PM. Burial will be held at 12:00 PM on Saturday at the Old Salem Cemetery in Richland Township in Marshall County. The family would like to extend their sincerest gratitude to the staff and friends at the Bickford Senior Living and Heartland Hospice for their loving care of Walter. In lieu of flowers memorials in honor of Walter can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Visitation:

A visitation will be held on Friday May 10, 2019 from 5-6:30 PM at Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home, 506 W. Merchant St. in Byron followed by a funeral service starting at 6:30 PM.

Service:

A funeral will be held on Friday May 10, 2019 from 6:30 PM at Farrell Holland Gale Funeral Home.

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