Donald Ray Blackwood was born in Webbers Falls, Oklahoma on September 21, 1946 to the late Burl and Dosha (Chisum) Blackwood. Following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease, Don passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, October 22, 2021 in Mount Vernon, Illinois.
As a young man, Don was a self-described master tinkerer who was always trying to make something better, taking it apart and putting it back together, with fewer pieces, of course. Little did he realize during all the inventing he inadvertently created the first motorized bicycle. Even after his diagnosis, he could not resist the urge to tinker. Evidence of that could be seen in the motorized wheelchair, lift chair, and cell phone parts piled around him.
In 1964, Don graduated from Gore High School in Oklahoma. Six years later, he attended college at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He furthered his education in business while attending the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Don worked as an agent for Allstate Insurance for many years where he received awards in salesmanship. Don worked in the real estate business, as well.
During his free time, Don enjoyed going to garage sales. Always looking for a hidden gem, which to him was another briefcase to add to his ever-growing collection. In addition, he found great pleasure in being outdoors, dabbling in the stock market, and enjoyed shooting guns prior to his Parkinson’s diagnosis. Don also worked in the oil industry for many years in the Mount Vernon area.
Don is survived by his children, David Hust of Darien, Georgia, Gloria Burgess and husband, DeWayne, Sr. of Sallisaw, Oklahoma, and Phillip Blackwood and Wanda Silva of Mount Vernon, Illinois; grandchildren, Katherine Ruel, Heather Hust, Paul Joplin, Jr., Hana Burgess Hightower, Josh Burgess, DeWayne Burgess, Jr., Logan Hemker, and Lucas Blackwood; nine great-grandchildren; and sister, Kay Hendricks Pritchard of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Don was loved very much by his family and will be missed.
A Visitation will be held Wednesday, October 27, 2021 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Hughey Funeral Home in Mount Vernon. A Funeral Service will begin at 7:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Don’s honor to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research and will be accepted at the funeral home.
Call Hughey Funeral Home at 618-242-3348 or visit hugheyfh.com for further information.