FRANKLIN GROVE — James “JT” Blackburn, 81 of Franklin Grove, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021 at home surrounded by his loved ones.
He was born Sept. 30, 1939, in Dixon, the son of Thomas Francis Blackburn and Eva Elizabeth (Sondgeroth) Blackburn. He married Barbara North on Aug. 29, 1959, in Oregon. Barbara preceded him in death on July 24, 2000. He married Mary Ann (Chesley) Mauch on May 31, 2003.
James was a lifelong farmer, he also worked in the fertilizer and petroleum business for many years and received many awards for his service. He later worked as a federal crop adjuster until his retirement.
James 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 1979 - 1983 and was a past member of the Franklin Grove Lions Club.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, of Franklin Grove; sons, Jeff (Paula) Blackburn, of Oregon, Tom (Kathy) Blackburn, of Wheaton, Rich (Molly) Blackburn, of Amboy, and Jeff (Meghan) Clark, of Ashton; daughter, Janet (Todd) Sutton, of Naperville; 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; step-brother John (Mary) Leffelman, of Amboy; 26 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
James was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Barbara; sister, Geraldine Heckman; son, James R. Blackburn; granddaughter, Joellen Mauch; and step-brother Sylvan Leffelman and his wife, Virginia.
The family would like to express their deep gratitude to all of the staff at Serenity Hospice & Home, and to his night time “Angel” Gwen Weidman.
Visitation will be from 4 – 7 p.m., on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, with the Rosary at 7 p.m. at the Jones Funeral Home in Dixon.
Funeral services will be on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021 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 the Rev. Keith Romke officiating. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon.
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 can be left at www.thjonesfh.com.