James Blackburn

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FRANKLIN GROVE - James “JT” Blackburn, 81, of Franklin Grove, passed away Feb. 6, 2021 at home surrounded by his loved ones.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at the Jones Funeral Home in Dixon with the Rosary at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be on Thursday, Feb. 11 beginning with a 10 a.m. prayer service at the funeral home followed by a 10:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Patrick Catholic Church with Rev. Keith Romke officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon.

James was born Sept. 30, 1939 in Dixon to Thomas Francis Blackburn and Eva Elizabeth (Sondgeroth) Blackburn. He married Barbara North on Aug. 29, 1959 in Oregon. She preceded him in death on July 24, 2000. He married Mary Ann (Chesley) Mauch on May 31, 2003.

Survivors include his wife, Mary Ann of Franklin Grove; four sons, Jeff (Paula) Blackburn of Oregon, Tom (Kathy) Blackburn of Wheaton, Rich (Molly) Blackburn of Amboy and Jeff (Meghan) Clark of Ashton; one daughter, Janet (Todd) Sutton of Naperville; a daughter-in-law, Cheryl (Bob) Allen; step-children, David (Wanda) Mauch, Larry (Beth White) Mauch, Denise (Tom) Bauer, Craig (Mary) Mauch, Darwin (Martha) Mauch and Jennifer (Maury) Wilmoth; one step-brother, John (Mary) Leffelman of Amboy; 26 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Barbara; one sister, Geraldine Heckman; one son, James R. Blackburn; one granddaughter, Joellen Mauch; and one step-brother, Sylvan Leffelman and his wife, Virginia.

James was a lifelong farmer and also worked in the fertilizer and petroleum business for many years, where he received many awards for his service. He later worked as a federal crop adjuster until his retirement. He earned his FFA IL State Farmer degree in 1957 and his FFA American Farmer degree in 1959. He was a member of the District 271 Board of Education from 1979-1983 and was a past member of the Franklin Grove Lions Club.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Serenity Hospice and Home, 1658 S. Illinois Route 2, Oregon, IL 61061 or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, www.stjude.org.

Online condolences may be left at www.thejonesfh.com.