Cover photo for Don Blackwell's Obituary
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1920 Don 2022

Don Blackwell

July 30, 1920 — January 29, 2022

Donald Wylie Blackwell, 101, of Cherokee Village, Arkansas was born July 30, 1920 in Rockbridge County, Virginia. He died January 29, 2022 of cardiac arrest at White River Medical Center in Batesville, Arkansas. Don grew up and worked on a farm of 300 acres in Ellisville, Illinois. After graduation from high school in 1937, he attended Western Illinois University. For a brief time he was a school teacher (grades 3-8) and then served his country in the United States Air Force as an aviation electronics specialist in World War II. Diplomas came from Chanute Air Force Base. Foreign service was over two years in Normandy, southern France, and Ardennes Rhineland, Central Europe. He was a decorated veteran with many ribbons and medals and was recognized as an honorary lifetime member of the American Legion on his 100th birthday. Don was also issued a Capitol Citation by Arkansas Secretary of State naming him a Centenarian. His civilian work after military duty continued when he became an assembly line processor at the Mossville plant of Caterpillar Tractor Company from which he retired. He has been an active resident of Cherokee Village for more than forty years. Don was a member of the United Methodist Church. His hobbies included activities challenging his mind: bowling, golf, fishing, reading, playing cards, cribbage, chess, checkers, dancing, watching all sports and westerns on television. His “guilty pleasures” were Reese’s peanut butter cups and Starburst peppermints. He was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, good friend, and true gentleman. Survivors include a daughter, Kathi of the home; a son, David (Cheryl) of Gurdon, Arkansas; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; two sisters: Lillian and Iris Anne, both of Santa Barbara, California; countless nieces and nephews; many other relatives and good friends. Don was preceded in death by his parents, Wylie Newton and Annie Rogers Berry Blackwell; two brothers, Lionel and Bob; and his wife of 51 years, Billie Velma Strickland Blackwell. A local visitation will be Monday, January 31, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the chapel of Tri-County Funeral Home at Highland, Arkansas. Graveside services will be Tuesday at 1 p.m. in Monette, Arkansas at the Memorial Cemetery with Bro. Jimmy Anderson officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are encouraged to UMC, P.O. Box 88, Hardy, AR 72542.
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