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George Edward Blackburn

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BLACKBURN George Edward Blackburn, 1913-2006. Noted football coach and professional football talent scout George E. Blackburn passed away on Monday, May 15, 2006 at the age of 93 in Dublin, Ohio. "Gus", as he was called in his younger days, was born in Columbus, Ohio and graduated from Columbus West High School in 1932. He went on to athletic fame in football and baseball at Findlay College from which he graduated in 1936. He was inducted into the college's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1972. After nine successful years of high school coaching in Ohio at Pomeroy, Gallipolis, and Western Hills in Cincinnati, "Blackie" began a twenty-three year career in college football coaching at Miami of Ohio, the University of Cincinnati, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and the University of Virginia. The highlights of his collegiate coaching career were his winning the 1948 Mid-American Conference Championship at Miami, and his selection as Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year at Virginia in 1968. Following his last season at UVA in 1971, "Blackie" began a seventeen year stint in professional football with the New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers, and New England Patriots culminating in his earning a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots in 1985. He retired from football at the age of 74 while living in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. "Blackie" is survived by his devoted wife of 68 years, Elaine Bright Blackburn of Friendship Village, Dublin, Ohio; and four children, Judith A. Epley of Pasadena, California, Janice E. Blackburn (Tony Hart) of Columbus, Ohio, John B. (Sandra) Blackburn of Cape Charles, Virginia and James W. (Ellen) Blackburn of Keuka Park, New York. Also surviving are eight grandchildren, Thomas E. (Kelly) Epley; Jacqueline E. Epley, Alison B. (Doug) Rocks, Jessica B. (Phillip) Wyman, James L. (Krista) Blackburn, Katherine C. Blackburn, Mary Clayton Blackburn and Robert A. Blackburn. The family will receive visitors at the TIDD FUNERAL HOME in Hilliard, Ohio, 5265 Norwich Street, Wednesday 5-8 p.m. with A Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated on Thursday at 10 a.m. at St. Brendan The Navigator Catholic Church, 4475 Dublin Rd., Hilliard, OH. Interment will be in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery, Lockbourne, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the George and Elaine Blackburn Scholarship Fund at the University of Findlay by sending directly to: Findlay College, c/o Development Office, George and Elaine Blackburn Scholarship Fund, 1000 N. Main St., Findlay, OH 45840, (419)424-4780.
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