Obituaries

Clyde Robert Blackburn

09/06/1953 - 16/05/2021

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Obituary For Clyde Robert Blackburn

June 9, 1953 - May 16, 2021

Clyde Robert Blackburn the 3rd was born in Ottawa, ON, to Pamela and Bob (Clyde Robert) Blackburn on June 9, 1953. Clyde was the eldest of four children, his sisters are Robin, Elizabeth, and Roxanne.

The family moved to Willowdale, ON, in 1961. Before too long Clyde had convinced some of the neighbourhood children, including baby sister Roxanne, that he was Superman.
Clyde’s first volunteer opportunity was with his grade six graduating class. Together with the teacher they cleaned up and made repairs to the Willowdale United Church Cemetery. Ever since, Clyde has held an intense respect for cemeteries and the history they hold.

Clyde began playing trumpet in grade nine, and later picked up guitar, bass, recorder, flute and piano. Son Rob inherited Clyde’s love for the trumpet. During his teenage years Clyde spent four summers in Pictou, Nova Scotia with his Gram, where as the eldest grandchild, and a boy, he was quite spoiled, including daily bowls of ice cream!

Clyde and Mary met through the church youth group. Mary moved to Port Alberni, B.C., in 1973. By 1974 Clyde had found a job with the Woodward’s Department Store in Port Alberni. Mary and Clyde married in Ottawa on July 2, 1977. Eldest son Robbie (Clyde Robert Blackburn the 4th) was born April 14, 1980. The first part of the trip to the hospital was the same as the trip to work. Clyde sailed right past the turn to the hospital while Mary was having a contraction. “Oops”!

Clyde, Mary and Robbie moved to Calgary in 1981. Middle son Michael was born January 14, 1983. Youngest son David was born October 26, 1984. The family made close friends in Calgary with whom they are still friends today.

The family moved to Edmonton in 1985, where Clyde continued to work for Woodward’s – both in the new West Edmonton Mall Store, and the Downtown Store. Unfortunately, the company was having troubles and Clyde was one of 680 employees who were “let go” on January 15, 1990.

September 1990 Clyde began work for ATCO Electric, and Grande Prairie quickly became home. Clyde and Mary were involved in the United Church all of their married lives, and that was where they first found friends who quickly became family.

Clyde had a positive impact on the City of Grande Prairie. His leadership in Scouting had begun in Edmonton, and continued for many years. He was on the Aspen Grove Public School Council, then a School Board Trustee, as well as serving on the executive of the Public School Boards Association of Alberta. Clyde was a member on the founding board of the Community Foundation of Greater Grande Prairie.

Clyde had so much fun with the Grande Prairie Live Theatre. His dream role was that of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. He was honoured to receive the Jennie Tetreau Award in 2012.
He also truly loved the Grande Prairie Street Performers Festival, which he co-chaired with Wayne Ayling for many years. Clyde maintained friendships with some of the performers, mostly through Facebook.

In 2017 Clyde was humbled and pleased to receive the Senate of Canada 150th Commemorative Medal in recognition of significant contributions to the community.
After retiring from ATCO Electric in 2016, and spending some time doing “whatever he wanted whenever he wanted”, Clyde began to live his retirement dream when he was elected to the Grande Prairie City Council.

With great joy Clyde watched Rob wed Dawn on June 24, 2006. He felt blessed to have Rob and Dawn living and working in Grande Prairie. What joy his grandchildren Maya Cordelia and Asher Clyde Robert (the 5th) brought into his life! Having Michael move back to Grande Prairie allowed Clyde to teach some plumbing and fix-it skills, time which they both enjoyed. David brought Alison into our family in 2013. She has the best smile! Clyde and Mary spent time with David and Alison in Edmonton whenever possible. Clyde was Mary’s biggest support and proud of her role as Designated Lay Minister serving Clairmont United Church.

Unfortunately, Clyde was suddenly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia March 1, 2019. Although he took a leave of absence from City Council he stayed as informed as possible, and was back at it that summer. Clyde received a stem cell transplant from his sister Roxanne on October 10th, 2019. Again, he was soon back at the Council Table, despite the reluctance of his doctor. This was where he wanted to be! The transplant gave Clyde the gift of 15 months of life he would not otherwise have enjoyed. Sadly, in January of 2021 the leukemia again took over his body. Clyde lived as well as he could for as long as he could.

Clyde is survived by his wife Mary, Sons and Daughters-in-Love Robbie and Dawn, Michael, and David and Alison, Grand-children Maya and Asher, God-daughter Janet Davis, Mother Pamela Blackburn, Sisters and Brother-in-laws Robin and David, Elizabeth and Bernie, and Roxanne and John, Sisters-in-Law Sheila and Dominic, Cheryl and Allan, Brothers-in-law Paul and Angela and Jim and Trish, his nieces and nephews, Cousins Michael, David, Douglas, Barbara and Leslie, his Aunt Wendy, Aunt Brenda and Uncle Alf, some adult children and a few grandchildren that have been “adopted” into the family, friends who have become family, many, many friends and colleagues, as well as fine, caring neighbours.

Clyde is pre-deceased by his father Bob Blackburn (2000), Father-in-law Bill Buchanan (2001), Mother-in-law Saundra Buchanan (2003), his Aunt Margot, Cousins Kathleen, Anne, Roy, Linda, Cathy, and Marsha, and Brooks.

A private Service of Celebration of Clyde’s life will be held at St. Paul’s United Church in Grande Prairie at 1 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Saturday May 22, 2021.

The service may be viewed online at St. Paul's United church YouTube link below.

Memorial Donations may be made directly online to The Community Foundation of NW Alberta Clyde and Mary Blackburn Family Fund by clicking the link below Clyde's picture.

Or by mail to The Community Foundation of NW Alberta Clyde and Mary Blackburn Family Fund, Centre 2000, 11330 106 St. #200 Grande Prairie, AB T8V 7X9

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780 830 7742 www.bearcreekfuneral.com

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Condolences

  • I feel very fortunate to have worked alongside Clyde at various events. We had many good chats, were often sidetracked by a discussion of a current issue or challenges in the community. My condolences to his many friends, his love Mary, and all of his family. He was gem who will always sparkle.

  • So very sorry to hear of Clyde's passing. My husband Doug and I met Clyde and Mary when we first moved to Grande Prairie in 1991 and they made us and our two young children feel very welcome. I then had the privilege of working daily with Clyde for almost six years at Alberta Power and will always remember his commitment, kindness and willingness to jump in wherever needed. A truly special person. My sincere sympathies to Mary and family. May God bless you and comfort you at this time. Bobbi Lambright

  • My love goes out to all

  • Sending all my love and positivity to the family.

  • My grandparent-brother, now that you have ascended to the spiritual world, know that we, your earthly family, remain forever connected in love and look for your continued inspirational wisdom with our children and grandchildren. Be joyful as we strive to be. 🙏

  • Our sincere condolences to all your family, with love and prayers. A donation has been made to the Cancer Society in Clyde's name. Sheila and family

  • I worked with Clyde through Alberta Power and Atco Electric years and he was super nice person as a fellow worker, gentleman, and friend. We will all miss him dearly so our thoughts are with the Blackburn family. Be strong at this time, it is what Clyde would want. Brian and Norma Lank

  • Clyde and Mary were a "gift" for our family as neighbors in Edmonton. Hugs from a distance to Mary, Robbie, Michael and David. With much love and prayers, Grace, Serena and Jonathan.

  • The world will miss a talented and generous man. I wish Clyde's life could have been longer, but also celebrate all that it was. Clyde, Mary and their boys were a special part of my Grande Prairie years. I'm praying for all of you, as you prepare for Saturday's celebration and negotiate, in ways right for you, these tender months of grieving. Shalom, Joanna MacQuarrie

  • Doug and I were both saddened by the loss of Clyde. Your support to our family, Mary, gave us an insight to your strength. May your faith continue to provide you with with that strength. Our deepest sympathy Doug and Peggy Hollingworth

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