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Lt. Colonel John Alfred (Usaf Ret) Blackmon Jr.

1933 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Lt. Colonel John Alfred (Usaf Ret) Blackmon Jr. Obituary
Lt. Colonel (USAF RET) John Alfred
Blackmon, Jr.
November 9, 1933-
April 14, 2018
Pine Mountain, GA- John Alfred Blackmon, 84, died in Columbus, Georgia, on April 14, 2018, after a brief illness.
He was born on November 9, 1933, in Columbus, Georgia, to Mary Jo Hilton and John Alfred Blackmon. He attended Wynnton Grammar School and graduated from Columbus High School in 1951. He received a BS degree from Auburn University in 1955 where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. After graduation, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force. He graduated from the Air Force Navigation and Radar Observer schools in 1957. After three years of active duty service, he attended the Lamar School of Law at Emory University and received an LL.B degree in 1961. On November 30, 1966, he married Connie Comer of Tampa, Florida. He flew as a navigator with the Georgia Air National Guard for 13 years and received the Vietnam Service Medal. In 1974, he was admitted to the US Air Force Judge Advocates Corp., where he served for seven years and retired as a Colonel.
After law school, he remained in Atlanta where he raised his family and had a long, successful law career until retiring in 1999. His law career afforded him many opportunities to serve the public. Following law school, he served as an attorney in the Georgia State Law Department where he rose to the position of Assistant Attorney General. In 1968 he was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Revenue. In 1970, Governor Maddox appointed him State Revenue Commissioner. Then Governor Carter reappointed him in 1971, and he served through Carter's term. His service in state government was marked by his work to support Carter's reorganization plan. This work included an internal reorganization of the Revenue Department that modernized the state's money management system. Much of this work remains in place today, most notably the integration of the process for filing federal and state income tax, simplifying the process for all Georgians.
While in state government, he lobbied for the initial funds to build the Georgia World Congress Center including advocating for the state's first hotel/motel tax to fund it. Throughout his career, he continued to work on behalf of the Georgia hospitality industry including expanding the hotel/motel tax to help fund other projects key to the modern growth of Atlanta, including the 1988 Democratic Convention, the Georgia Dome, and the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Following his state government career, Mr. Blackmon joined the Atlanta law firm of Smith, Cohen, Ringel, Kohler & Martin (now Smith, Gambrell & Russell) where he became an equity partner in the firm in 1978 and a retired partner in 1999. John maintained high levels of civic engagement throughout his life. Following the 1994 midterm elections, at the request of then Governor Zell Miller, John served as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia from 1995 to 1997. During his tenure as chairman, the Georgia Democratic Party helped to elect Senator Max Cleland in 1996 and kept Georgia in play for the presidential election. For many years, he was a member of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and is especially proud of his membership in the Atlanta Lawyers Club, the Old War Horse Lawyers Club, the Gridiron Society of the University of Georgia, and the Rotary Club of Harris County. Notably, he is a founding member of St. Nicholas Episcopal Church.
Survivors include his wife, Connie Comer Blackmon of Pine Mountain, Georgia, his daughters Elizabeth Blackmon (Tripp Cook) and Mary Campbell (Sam), grandsons John and Robert Campbell, brother Joseph Hilton Blackmon (Henrietta), niece Jennifer Blackmon McGrady (Jonathan), and sister-in-law Pamela Burns. Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at St. Nicholas Episcopal Church. Interment will take place after the service in the Memory Garden at the church followed by a reception in the parish hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Nicholas Episcopal Church Memory Garden or Building Fund, 69 Mobley Road, Hamilton, Georgia. Fond memories and condolences may be offered at www.shcolumbus.com.
Published in Columbus Ledger-Enquirer on Apr. 20, 2018
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