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In Memory

Thomas R. Blackburn

March 28, 2014

Thomas R. Blackburn, long time Fort Collins resident, passed away Sunday, March 23, at the age of 95.

Tom was born in Bent County near Hasty on Nov. 26, 1918. His parents, Ray J. Blackburn and May McArthur Blackburn were cattle ranchers raising Hereford cattle.

Following his graduation from Colorado State University (then Colorado A & M College), Tom became engaged to Lorena Hubbs, two days prior to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. He resigned his job and was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 15, 1942, where he served in the South Pacific for the duration of the war. (Campaigns: 2 ½ years in the South Pacific Jungles Express August Bay in Solomon Islands; Bismarck Archipelago; Luzon in the Philippines).

After the war, Tom married Lorena on Jan. 12, 1946. The couple had one daughter, Janet. In 1946 Tom began a 33-year career with the faculty of Colorado State University's Animal Science Department. He judged livestock shows in 17 states coast to coast. He also loved farming and farmed the family's dry land wheat operation from 1972 through 1986.

Tom had a positive outlook and great sense of humor. He held degrees from Colorado State University and the University of Minnesota (Masters). He loved reading and learning; writing--including a WW II memoir and children's stories for his nieces and nephews; a job well done; gardening--especially his roses; wide open spaces, sunshine, blue sky and apple pie.

Tom is survived by his daughter, Janet Blackburn of Fort Collins; cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lorena; and his younger brothers, Bruce and George.

Those desiring to make a memorial contribution may contribute to the Thomas R. Blackburn Scholarship (a CSU Animal Science Scholarship) or the Salvation Army in care of Bohlender Funeral Chapel, 121 W. Olive, Fort Collins, CO 80524. Friends may send condolences to the family at

Those who desire may view Mr. Blackburn from 8:30-10:00 a.m. Monday, March 31, at Bohlender Funeral Chapel. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, March 31, at Bohlender Funeral Chapel. An interment with Military Honors by the Fort Collins All Veterans Honor Guard will follow at Loveland Burial Park.