Claude Blackburn was born Nov. 30, 1921 to Landon and Maude Blackburn at McVeigh, in Pike County, Kentucky. He had seven sisters and one brother, all who preceded him in death.
Claude worked as a truck driver before entering the Army during World War II. While home on leave, he married his childhood sweetheart, Margaret Ann Hankins, on September 4, 1943. He served in France and Germany, and received a Purple Heart for injuries he sustained in France.
At the conclusion of World War II, he and Margaret settled down in Sidney, Kentucky, where they raised three children, Sheila, Saundra, and Jim. Saundra was killed in an automobile accident in 1974.
Claude continued to drive a truck until he was hired by the Norfolk and Western Railroad, where he worked at various jobs for the next thirty years, until he and Margaret retired in 1983.
After retirement, he and Margaret moved to Frankfort to be near their son Jim, his wife Jeanie, and especially their only grandchild, Matthew. Matthew is the apple of their eye and spent many days and nights with Papa and Granny at Dove Creek.
Claude always raised a garden, even while he was working, but after he retired he expanded it to include almost anything you could think of. It was always weed-free, because he worked in it every day. Matthew always enjoyed helping when he was visiting.
He and Margaret gave away a lot of the vegetables to friends and neighbors. Margaret spent many hours canning the fresh vegetables from the garden. Claude grew a type of German tomato that was raised from plants that Margaret’s father had grown. They tasted wonderful and some weighed as much as three pounds.
In addition to gardening, Claude enjoyed watching almost any type of sports, especially baseball, NASCAR, and UK basketball. He was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge in Frankfort and participated in many billiard tournaments they held, even winning at least once.
Claude was always a very friendly and outgoing person who loved sitting around talking and joking with friends and family. Unfortunately, his hearing loss became so severe that, even with hearing aids, he was no longer able to do so.
He is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Margaret; daughter, Shelia of Villa Rica, Ga.; son, Jim, of Gulf Shores, Ala.; grandson, Matthew; great-grandson, Austin; great-granddaughter, Henley of Dunwoody, Ga.; and several nieces and nephews.
His loss leaves a hole in our family that can never be filled, but our hearts are lightened when thinking of him in better times.
A memorial service and burial will be held at a later date.