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William J. Blackshaw

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BLACKSHAW, William J. (1924-2007) Longtime Pasadena resident William J. Blackshaw died at the age of 83 years. He died peacefully in his sleep of heart failure with family members by his side. A devoted husband of longtime civic leader Jeanette Blackshaw, he is survived by seven children - Julie, Mary, John, Gina, Peter, Annie, and Amy - and thirteen grandchildren (with at least another on the way). A New Jersey native who spent countless summers on the Jersey Shore, Blackshaw attended Trenton Catholic and later St. Johns University in New York on the GI bill. During World War II, he served in India in the Air Force's 59th Service Group of the 377th Air Service Squadron. His unit served planes headed over the Himalayas mountains to aid General Stillwell's Chinese theater. After the war, he briefly entered the restaurant business, founding "White Tavern." He later served as an advertising manager for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he was discovered by Madison Avenue as a promising young talent. His extensive career in advertising started at BBDO offices in Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles, ultimately landing at Hollywood-based Eisaman, Johns & Laws, then one of the West Coast's most successful independent agencies. Prominent clients included Chevrolet, Penzoil, Kahlua, Alpha Beta, Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA), Great Western Savings, Cooper Tires, and Suzuki. He wrapped up his advertising career independently managing advertising for the Southern California Association of Mercedes Dealers. A lover of literature, history and classical music, especially Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations, Bill had a passion for the arts, including amateur photography, a skill carried over to several of his children. He loved skiing, road trips, spending time with family and friends. Known for his gifted wit, he had a special affection for the poetry of Robert Service, Billy Collins and Rudyard Kipling. Forever asking questions, and ever fascinated with others' feelings and experience, he lived his own maxim: "To be interesting, you've got to be interested." A memorial Mass will take place on Saturday, November 3, at 1 p.m., at St. Andrew's Church, 311 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 792-4183, with a burial following at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills. Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to Union Station, www.unionstationfoundation.org, a homeless shelter in Pasadena where Bill volunteered for many years. Questions can be directed to Pete Blackshaw. Please inquire by email, [email protected] Additional details regarding donations, the service and his life can be found at www.williamblackshaw.com.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 2, 2007
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