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OBIT: James “Jim” Blackburn

James “Jim” Blackburn, age 81, of Charles City, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 3, 2023.

James “Jim” Blackburn, age 81, of Charles City, passed away peacefully on Friday, March 3, 2023.

A memorial service for Jim Blackburn will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at The Bridge Church with Pastor Rob Williams officiating. Inurnment will be at Sunnyside Memory Gardens in rural Charles City.

A gathering of family and friends will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.

James “Jim” Russell Blackburn was born September 4, 1941 in Charles City to Alfred and Joyce (Horne) Blackburn. He attended school in Charles City, graduating in 1959. After graduation, Jim joined the United States Army and served from 1960-1965. On December 16, 1967 he married Dianne R. Schwieger in Mason City, Iowa. They had two sons: Marc Russel and Scott Lyle.

Jim started working in high school for Mussel Hardware in Charles City. In the Army he received a certificate from the U.S. Army Ordinance School for Automotive Repair and then spent most of his time in Germany working on military vehicles. After his discharge from the Army, he worked at Oliver/White Farm as a Machinist until 1970 when Jim and Dianne moved to Butte, Montana where he worked for the Anaconda Company in the Berkley Garage until they moved back to Charles City in 1973 to return to White Farm until it closed. Jim worked there for a total of 18 years. Then he became a custodian for the Charles City Community Schools becoming the Head Custodian of Jefferson until the school closed, and he retired in June 2005 after 24 years with the schools. After his retirement, Jim worked in his shop repairing vacuums for the Vac Shack of Charles City. He worked there until he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Jim loved fixing things and was ready to help anyone with a project. He loved the outdoors, especially in his early years hunting and fishing. He spent many years going to the Boundary Waters using canoes and tent camping in the remote campgrounds. Family was important to Jim, and he loved family get-togethers. Jim and Dianne loved to travel and visit their sons: Marc, and grandson Cody, when they lived in California and Scott and his family wherever they were located while Scott was completing his Doctorate in Medicine (Surgery).

Jim is survived by his wife, Dianne of Charles City; his sons: Marc Blackburn of Charles City and Scott Blackburn of Pas Christian, Mississippi; his grandsons: Cody Blackburn, Brandon Blackburn and Brady Blackburn; daughter-in-law, Jennifer Blackburn; sister, Karen (Robert) Clark; brothers-in-law: Don Groesbeck and Larry Schwieger; many treasured nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and very special kids: Brooklyn Warnke, Jackson Warnke, Hailee Warnke and Taylor Warnke along with friends: Cody Warnke, Tasha Warnke, Jeff and Emily Meyer (and family).

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Joyce; brother, Carl Blackburn; sister, Marilee Groesbeck; mother and father-in-law, Miriam and Lyle Schwieger; sisters-in-law: Linda True, Susan Dempsey and Jean Schwieger; and granddaughter, Bailey Anne Blackburn.

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