William Blackmon Jr.(1920 - 2013)

William Gipson Blackmon Jr., beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, was called to his heavenly home on Thursday, June 13, 2013. He died comfortably in his Fort Worth home in the company of family and caretakers. Funeral: 11 a.m. Wednesday at University Christian Church. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Greenwood Funeral Home. William Gipson Blackmon Jr. was born on a farm in Springtown, on Nov. 7, 1920, the son of Texas State Representative, William Gipson Blackmon Sr. His family survived the Great Depression by living off the produce of their small farm. His Uncle Lon assisted by engaging young Bill in a small bootlegging operation until they were shut down by the local sheriff. When Bill's mom left to teach at the University of Oklahoma, Bill resided here and there with his 10 aunts and uncles until he moved to Fort Worth with his Uncle Lon and wife who saw them through the final years of financial turmoil at the gambling tables of the Fort Worth Stockyard. When the economy eventually turned, they thankfully began a small respected local dry cleaning establishment where Bill learned the trade of laundering fine clothes and ironing women's dresses, while attending North Side High School. At the close of every day, he cooked the family dinner on a single hot plate in the back of the shop, laid down on the floor to sleep, and caught a shower the next day at the school gym. Years would reveal that his big break in life came when the school coach asked him to be an "end" on the high school football team. His success in this position drew the attention of Dutch Meyer, the head football coach at Texas Christian University. And it was here that Bill's tall, lanky frame landed him with the nickname, "Floppy." A name he carried for a lifetime. In 1938 Floppy was awarded a football scholarship at Texas Christian University. He entered the halls of his alma mater with only a pair of overalls and a toothbrush-feeling mighty blessed to be sleeping on mattress and enjoying three meals a day that he never had to cook. Floppy was a three-sport athlete but majored in playing offense and defense on the TCU football team for two years before being persuaded to join the basketball team. At 6'5" he was the tallest athlete at TCU and flourished in the sport as captain of the team. It was here that he met his wife of 68 years, Genevieve Able. Floppy spotted her amidst a group of girls in the cafeteria at school and knew from that moment that she was the only girl for him. They were married in Berkeley, Calif., in 1944, just days before Floppy shipped off to the Pacific as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He was sent into the Battle of Saipan as captain of a small LCT boat with 12 young men. With rockets often flying overhead, he and his crew spent the first two years carrying gasoline to the battleships and bringing wounded Marines out. After Floppy was discharged from the service, Genevieve's father, Mr. Able, gave him a job as a delivery man for the Able Furniture Company in Houston. It was there that he learned many of the skills that enabled him to begin a business of his own in Fort Worth with good friend and fellow naval officer, Scott Mooring and his wife, Mary. Floppy and Scott began their future together with a rented building and a used truck, not certain what that business would entail, but ready to begin "something"! The two couples shared a small home and worked together to build that "something" into a well-respected company they called Blackmon Mooring. Floppy and Scott, along-side of a business associate, perfected the invention of the first steam carpet cleaning machine, which revolutionized the world of upholstery and carpet cleaning and won Blackmon Mooring the privilege of becoming a respected household name. Floppy and Genevieve eventually bought a home behind the TCU stadium and raised three sons, Bill, Kirk and Greg, in the shadow of their beloved TCU campus. All three boys graduated from TCU, taking Blackmon Mooring onto the national stage, while Genevieve and Floppy remained deeply devoted alumni, attending every possible basketball and football game throughout their lifetime. They proudly watched as 13 members of their family followed in their footsteps through their beloved university. In 1946 Floppy and Genevieve joined University Christian Church where they raised their boys and served as active, devoted members. In 1994 Floppy and Genevieve were chosen by TCU to receive the Most Valuable Alumni Award for their outstanding contribution and service to many communities across the nation. And again in 2002, Floppy was inducted by his peers into the TCU Athletic Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution as captain of the TCU basketball team during the years of 1941-1943. These were crowning achievements in the life of a man and his wife who met, married, and raised their sons under a banner of purple and white. Floppy's friends remember him as a gentle giant. His honesty, sense of humor, and genuine concern for those around him-his devotion to his family, church, and alma mater, endeared him to everyone who had the privilege of calling him their friend. The family wishes to express special thanks to the many caretakers of Bright Star who lovingly cared for him in the later years of his life: especially Margie, Monica, Angie, Candice, and Lavern. Survivors: Floppy was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by his sons, Bill, Kirk and wife, Susan, and Greg and wife, Tiffany; grandchildren, Ginger Blackmon, Kimberly Blackmon, William Blackmon and wife, Heidi, Chelsea Golden and husband, Brian, Alex Blackmon, Kennedy Collins, Cameron Blackmon and wife, Jenny, Chase Blackmon and wife, Sally, Ryan Nacol and wife, Sammy, of Austin, Brennan Nacol and wife, Katerina, of New York and Jacquelyn Letschert and husband, Trudo, of Sarasota; his 11 great-grandchildren; and lifelong friends, Ruth Clements, Clara Jo Broyles and Jean Willoughby, and Jean Sheppard, among his circle of beloved friends.

Funeral Home

3100 White Settlement Rd. Fort Worth, TX 76107

Published in Star-Telegram from June 16 to June 18, 2013