In Memoriam: Bruce Blackburn
Bruce Allen Blackburn died July 5, 2013, one day after his favorite holiday, surrounded by family at his sister’s home in Rescue, California. He will be sadly missed by all who loved him. Bruce was born March 6, 1941, to Robert and Lillian Blackburn in Chicago, Illinois. He was an inveterate traveler who photographed, biked, hiked, and kayaked his way throughout the West. His love of the outdoors connected him to countless good friends with similar interests. Bruce’s prized banjo was always with him, and it didn’t take a second request for him to pick a few tunes. He was a committed trail steward, and dedicated many hours of love and labor in the Sonoran Desert and Peaks regions of the state.
Bruce was known for his thoughtfulness, his kindness, and his droll sense of humor. He was a humble man who saw the best in people, and greatly enjoyed his often-solitary wanderings. A 1959 graduate of La Sierra High School in Carmichael, California. Bruce was a U.S. Air Force veteran, serving his country in ways he could never discuss during the Bay of Pigs crisis in Cuba and in the earliest days of the Vietnam conflict.
He was the Business Development Manager for Vanir Construction Management for several years, where he was able to utilize his creative mind and talents. He was a professional photographer who made beautiful pictures on his travels. Bruce also worked for the Oakland Raiders as a line marker official. He spent his last years in Yuma, Arizona, where he made many enduring friends. One of those friends, Northern Region Steward Andrea Michaels, remembered Bruce as “one of those stalwart trail builders who donated hundreds of hours to the Arizona Trail’s completion and fine-tuning, bringing with him an infectious joie de vivre along with his dry wit, ready laugh and grand sense of adventure. Always up for a hike or a mountain bike ride, he was quick to share his prodigious banjo skills. His journeys were enviable, his trail friends numerous.”
He departed this life in a T-shirt bearing the words, “The Journey is the Destination.” Bruce was preceded in death by his daughter Tina and his parents. He is survived by sister Carol and brother-in-law Paul Shade, both of whom lovingly cared for Bruce during his last six months; sister Doris and her husband Don Morley; brother Robert G. and his wife Jane; brother Dan and his wife Maria; daughter Donna and step-daughters Taci and Renee; grandchildren Ashley, Theodore, Sara and Mike; great-grandchild Dylan; and countless nephews and nieces.
At Bruce’s request, no funeral services will be held. A memorial for family will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Snowline Hospice Care, 6520 Pleasant Valley Road, Diamond Springs, CA 95619, whose nurses provided Bruce with comforting love and compassion during his final hours, and to whom his family will be eternally grateful.
In Memory of Bruce Blackburn – March 6, 1941 – July 5, 2013