Jerry Dean (Guffey) BlackburnNovember 30, 1941 ~ September 15, 2017 (age 75)
Jerry Dean Blackburn of Paragould died Sept. 15 after living 75 years.
Born Jerry Dean Guffey on Nov. 30, 1941, in Tuckerman, Arkansas to Albert and Mildred, she forged her own way from a young age. After graduating from high school in 1960, Blackburn bucked the tradition of getting married and settling down. Instead, she moved across the country, a feat very uncommon for young women of the area.
After working for some time in Michigan, including at a lingerie factory, Blackburn moved to Montana and eventually back to Arkansas.
As a girl, Blackburn would often go home with her best friend Janis after Sunday School to see her friend’s other brother. While Blackburn was unsure if the gentleman noticed her, fate would bring them together years later. After Blackburn moved back to Arkansas, a cousin asked if she would join her on a double date. The young man her cousin desired asked Blackburn on a date instead. That young man was childhood friend Janice’s older brother, Raymond. She married Raymond Marion Blackburn on Jan. 21, 1971.
Blackburn’s spirit affected her children and grandchildren, which resulted in independent free-spirits determined to change the world including a nurse, journalist and Marine.
Preceded in death by husband Raymond, brothers Junior and Jimmy, and sister Edith Riley, Blackburn’s survivors include son, Terry of Paragould and Tasha; daughter, Kimberely of Jonesboro; grandson, Joshua of Paragould and Sonya; granddaughters Julia and Kayla of Paragould and Rachel; great-granddaughter due in January; brother Jay of Jacksonport and Joyce; brother Troy Guffey of Savage, Montana and Joyce; sister Patsy Caldwell of Junction City, Ohio and Alexander (Jabo); many nephews and nieces, a host of friends and a “furry daughter,” Abigail Rose, who her other children truly believe was Mom's favorite child.
Visitation will be held 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, in Paragould at Phillips Funeral Home. Services will immediately follow with Stacy Prater officiating. Funeral services and interment arranged by Phillips Funeral Home, 4904 W. Kingshighway, Paragould, (870) 236-4904. Graveside services will be Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. at Linwood Cemetery in Greene County. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made in Blackburn’s name to the Arkansas Methodist Medical Center Foundation and Arkansas State University’s Bonnie Thrasher Scholarship for journalism students.