Diamond William Blakeney, Jr.
June 2, 1921--March 20, 2013
Diamond W. Blakeney, Jr. passed away in Mobile, Alabama on March 20, 2013.
He resided at the Gulfport Mississippi Armed Forces Retirement Home and had many good friends there. At ninety one years of age, he prided himself on living independently and was able to accomplish that at the AFRH. He took his first class to learn to master the IPAD four days before his death.
Diamond was born in Clarkton, Missouri to Diamond W. Blakeney and Roxie Henson Mitchell and had a lively childhood shared with four siblings; David Blakeney, Marabelle Sams, Max Mitchell, and Betty Gunn, all of whom preceded him in death. Diamond's family owned a traveling zoo and one of his favorite antidotes was the retelling of the time he took his prized spider monkey Bilbo to school. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy at a young age and went on to enlist in the United States Coast Guard where he served numerous tours overseas during and after World War II as a decorated veteran. Diamond was a life long boat captain, piloting the Mississippi River and the waterways from Texas to Florida.
He was married for forty three years to Patricia Marsh Blakeney, who also preceded him in death. Captain Dia and Patty Lou made their home in Long Beach, Mississippi since 1967 where they were active in civic organizations including the Long Beach VFW, the Gulfport American Legion, and the Gulfport/Biloxi B.P.O.E. They loved to travel and spent many trips enjoying the company of their fellow Good Sam motor home club members.
Diamond loved sports, his favorite teams being the St. Louis Cardinals and New Orleans Saints. He also enjoyed music, especially the big band sounds of the 1940's and drum and bugle corps, sharing that love with three generations.
Diamond is survived by his children; Terri Blakeney (Jeffrey Melton), Raymond, MS; Gregg (Kathy) Blakeney, Raymond, MS; Carla (Eddy) Holland, Broadlands, VA; and Sharon (Jack) Cordray, Gulfport, MS. Six grandchildren: Charley (Paige) Holland, Christa Holland, Lauren Blakeney, Anna Blakeney, Shane Cordray, Nikki Cordray and two great grandchildren, Noah and Zoe Holland. He is also survived by five nephews and four nieces.
A graveside service is planned for Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 2:30 pm at the National Cemetery, Biloxi, MS.
Diamond never met a dog he did not like and the family requests any memorials to be sent to the Humane Society of South Mississippi 2615 25th Ave. Gulfport, MS 39501 or www.hssm.org.
RIEMANN FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 11280 Three Rivers Road in Gulfport, assisted the family with arrangements.
Tributes may be offered at www.riemannfamily.com.
Published in The Sun Herald on Mar. 24, 2013