Littlefield - James Dan Blackwell, 79, of Littlefield, passed away May 11, 2021 in Lubbock. He was born March 19, 1942 in Lubbock to Ed and Ruby Blackwell.
James grew up in the Pettit area west of Levelland. He attended Levelland schools before moving to Littlefield his sophomore year of high school. There he was awarded All-State Offense & Defense in football. James graduated from Littlefield High School with the class of 1960. He went on to attend Sul Ross State University on a football scholarship and graduated with a B.S. in Physical Education.
In 1965, James married Nelda Pittman, and the couple moved to Hereford where he went to work for Tide/Wilbur Ellis. In 1968, James & Nelda and their two children, Melete and Tory, moved to Littlefield where he began his farming career. They were members of the First United Methodist Church in Littlefield, where he served in many roles, and in 1968 they began attending the YAK Sunday School Class, where he was still a member. James was also active in his community. He was a Charter Member of the Littlefield Early Risers Lions Club, he served on the Littlefield Area Stock Show Board, and he was the area coordinator for the Texas Youth Hunting Association. James was awarded Wildlife Conservationist of the Year in 1998 and in 2005 from the Soil & Water Conservation in Texas. If it pertained to wildlife conservation or the youth in the outdoors, he was involved.
James is survived by his wife of 56 years, Nelda Blackwell of Littlefield; daughter, Melete White and husband Greg of Littlefield; son, Tory Blackwell and wife Londi of Muleshoe; five grandchildren, Summer Daniels (Kirk) of Amarillo, Jake Blackwell of Lovington, NM, Shelby Vavra (Cody) of Muskogee, OK, Kylon Blackwell (Kristin) of Lubbock, and Sydney Garza (Rudy) of Lubbock; and four great grandchildren, Connor, Zaylyn, Riley and Lainee. He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Jan Blackwell of Lubbock.
Services will be 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 14, 2021 at First United Methodist Church in Littlefield with Rev. Gary Boles and Rev. Danny Sanders officiating. James will be laid to rest later that day in his family plot in the City of Lubbock Cemetery at a private family ceremony. Serving as pallbearers will be Tory Blackwell, Greg White, Jake Blackwell, Kylon Blackwell, Kirk Daniels, Cody Vavra, and Rudy Garza. Visitation will be held from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m., Thursday evening at the funeral home. The family wants to give a special "Thank you" to the home health nurses, Michelle & Anitra, and his caretaker Lola Hernandez for many hours of dedication and care. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Littlefield EMS (PO Box 1267, Littlefield, TX 79339) or the Sul Ross Athletic Department Alumni Association (East HWY 90 Box C17 Alpine, TX 79832). Arrangements are under the personal care of Hillcrest Funeral Home in Littlefield.
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Published by Lubbock Avalanche-Journal from May 12 to May 13, 2021.