Dr. Robert F. Blackburn, 72, of Inverness, Fla., died May 3, 2013, from heart issues under hospice care in Inverness, Fla.
Dr. Bob was born and raised in Parkersburg, W.Va., graduating from PHS in 1958. Developing his talent in music by the upbringing of his father, the Rev. Dr. Harry William Blackburn, mother, Eva Mae Garrison Blackburn and older sister, Janie McFarland led to his high profile with the A Cappella Choir and principal trombone position with the Big Red Band. He attended summer camps at Westminster Choir College, Princeton, N.J., discovering his great tenor voice.
Dr. Blackburn graduated from Asbury University, Wilmore, Ky., and Emory University School of Theology in Atlanta, Ga., fulfilling his call to the ministry. His first pastoral appointment was at Central Avenue UMC, Indianapolis, Ind. His second appointment was Ft. Lauderdale in the Florida Conference of the UMC. While in Jacksonville, Fla., Robert Blackburn received the Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Dr. Joe Andrews, Southeastern Evangelistic Groups Inc. After building a magnificent new church in Inverness, Fla., Dr. Bob retired from the Ministry pursuing the Ministry of Music full time. His singing sent him into the work of Jesus Christ internationally.
Dr. Blackburn was preceded in death by his parents and his older brothers, Dr. Howard Blackburn and Dr. David Blackburn.
Surviving family include former wife, Ann Blackburn, Dayton, Tenn.; children, Ken Blackburn, Nashville, Tenn., Kam Reagan, Inverness, Fla., Robin Williams, Cleveland, Tenn., and Bobbi Bogle, Nashville, Tenn.; close relatives, sister, Janie McFarland, Waco, Texas, nephew, Roger Blackburn, St. Peters, Mo., nephew, Robert McFarland, Sicklerville, N.J., and grandchildren, Christopher Bender, Inverness, Fla., Jeffrey Bender, Orlando, Fla., and Nathaniel Williams, Cleveland, Tenn.