Obituaries

Clyde Robert Blackburn

09/06/1953 - 16/05/2021

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

Click here to see video stream from St Paul's United Church

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Click here to see video stream from St Paul's United Church

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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.
- Tim Conrad
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
- Bobbi Lambright
My love goes out to all
- Chelsea wood
Sending all my love and positivity to the family.
- Chelsea wood
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. 🙏
- Liz Hood
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
- Sheila Ferri
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
- Brian 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.
- Grace Cabatan
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
- 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
- Peggy Hollingworth

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

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Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

What if a death occurs away from my home town?

We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at http://www.afsrb.ab.ca/  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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