Arthur Blackburn, Jr., 81
Arthur Harold Blackburn, Jr., born February 27, 1937, passed away from complications related to a stroke on April 13, 2018. He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Elfriede M. Blackburn; their two sons Arthur H. Blackburn, III and Dean A. Blackburn and his wife Stephanie Blackburn; his granddaughter, Madeline J. Blackburn, daughter of Dean and Stephanie Blackburn; and a great-granddaughter, Aria Bell of Madeline.
He was employed as an executive pharmaceutical salesman for Merck for twenty eight years traveling over a million miles and several cars; retiring at 58 years old.
Prior to his career, he served in the United States Army from 1956-1959, serving in Germany where he met his wife. Upon returning stateside he then attended and graduated from Northeastern University.
He enjoyed traveling the world with his wife. He maintained his home in Mattapoisett and participated and served in his community in many ways. As a volunteer he drove for FISH and cared for the Mattapoisett Congregational Church grounds. Over several years at the same church he served as a Deacon, a trustee and sat on the finance committee and most recently a member of the choir.
He was an active member of the Lions Club and received the Melvin Jones Award as King Lion (1982-1983) during which time he founded Harbor Days and introduced many activities (including the triathlon, road race and other water based activities). Because of his efforts it became the annual event it is today. He participated in the Bristol County German Club and served as its president from 1990-1991, receiving the Achievement Award from the German Consulate.
The sea was his passion starting when he was a young boy with his father in Scituate, MA. He achieved the rating of Advanced Piloting from the U.S. Coast Guard Power Squadron and went on to own two power boats and sail six sailboats. His most notable sail was from Mattapoisett, through the Intercoastal Waterway, to Bermuda and home. He made the trip with a crew from Mattapoisett to Norfolk, VA where he and his wife continued for three weeks to finish the trip alone without crew.
His interests included sailing, skiing, cycling, poker, tennis player, building models, photography, chess, lobstering, fishing and carpentry; he created several ornate archways, a gazebo and forty-foot suspension bridge platform. All of his projects were made of handmade parts; carefully, piece by piece. These projects graced the landscape of his Mattapoisett home and stand today as memorials to him. High upon a hand carved column sits a hand carved birdhouse; a replica of Gaudi Cathedral in Barcelona Spain. His last known well time was spent playing with his great-granddaughter, Aria, on January, 21, 2018.
His funeral service was held on Saturday, April 21.