Barbara Palmer Blackwood, 96, passed away on Sunday, May 31, 2020, at Beacon Place in Greensboro, after several years of declining health. The family will have a graveside service on Saturday, June 6, at Rehobeth United Methodist Church. Arrangements are being handled by George Brothers Funeral Service.
Barbara was born on February 18, 1924, in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to Leo and Ethel Palmer. She was raised, along with her brother Leo and sisters Polly and Nellie in Guilford County, North Carolina, and graduated from Sumner High School. It was there that she met her husband of 43 years, George Blackwood. Barbara had a vivid memory of her future husband walking across an open field to her parents’ home on December 7, 1941, to ask if they’d heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor. After graduation, George joined the Army Air Force and the couple were married on August 29, 1943, in Fort Myers, Florida. Their time in the military included, in addition to Fort Myers, service in Larned, Kansas, and Casper, Wyoming. When the war ended, they returned to Guilford County and raised a son, Mike (Eleanor), and two daughters, Kathy (Blair Clowdis) and Pam (Taylor Council). As a younger adult, Barbara held several jobs, including as a sales clerk behind the candy counter in Silver’s Department Store in downtown Greensboro, where she quickly grew tired of smelling chocolate. She also worked at Vick Chemicals, where she grew equally tired of smelling the eucalyptus used in the medical products. During the war Barbara also worked in the PX at the Overseas Replacement Depot here in Greensboro off Bessemer Avenue. Later in life, she worked as an inventory taker at North State Chevrolet. But her greatest gift to the world was as a homemaker and mother.
In addition to her three children, the Blackwood family grew to include six grandchildren: Bethanne (Doug), James, Jonathan, Rebekah (Dave), Joshua (Portia) and Sarah.
She received further blessings in the form of twelve great grandchildren. Barbara welcomed Madison, Cooper, Anna, Holly, Benjamin, Jamin, Kiva, Mika, Finley, Amanda, Henry and Ellie into the family. For many years the whole family gathered on Saturday nights to enjoy each other’s company and a wonderful meal prepared by Barbara. We will always remember those special times.
In later years, Barbara volunteered at the Wesley Long Hospital Pharmacy and, as long as her health permitted, was very active in programs at Rehobeth Church, where she was a lifelong member. These included, among others, the Friendly Sunday School Class, the Edna Vernon Circle, and the Women’s Society. At an earlier period in her life she was also active in the Scout program and MYF. She loved her church, as did her parents before her.
When not engaged in homemaking or church activities, Barbara enjoyed meeting various members of her family for lunch at local restaurants. She was an avid reader and it would not be unusual for her to check out eight or ten mysteries from the library and read them all in three weeks. If a mystery was particularly engaging, she would read it in one day flat. She also enjoyed beating her children at the card game Rummy, particularly while wearing her Card Shark visor, a gift from her grandchildren. Traveling was also a favorite pastime and she visited England, New Zealand, and much of the United States with her sister Polly and brother-in-law, Austin Lovelace.
Barbara suffered much sadness in her life as well, losing her husband George, her daughter Kathy, her daughter-in-law Eleanor and two grandchildren, Bethanne and Jonathan. She was also preceded in death by her parents and siblings.
Those of us left behind will always cherish her memory and include son Mike and wife Ginger, daughter Pam and husband Taylor, along with four surviving grandchildren, their spouses, and all great grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank the staff of Morningview Assisted Living, who cared for Barbara during the health challenges of her later years. Also, we are especially grateful to Lib Parker, Wanda Jackson and Mary Joyce Masters Marks for the wonderful care and friendship they all gave her while she was still in her home.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be directed to Greensboro Youth for Christ, P.O. Box 516, Greensboro NC 27402; The SPCA of the Triad, 3163 Hines Chapel Road, Greensboro NC 27405, or Rehobeth United Methodist Church, 4475 Rehobeth Church Road, Greensboro NC 27406
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