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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Edwin Keith Blackmon, 85, of School Street, Killbuck, NY

KILL BUCK, NY - Edwin Keith Blackmon, 85, of School Street died suddenly on Monday (July 11, 2011) at Olean General Hospital.

Born June 20, 1926, in Salamanca, he was a son of the late John and Myrtle Barry Blackmon. On May 19, 2007, in Great Valley, he married the former Shirley Smith Case, who survives. Previously, he was married to the former Margaret Field, who predeceased him Oct. 6, 1995.

Mr. Blackmon served with the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946 in Delaware and New Jersey.

He was employed in the lumber industry for over 40 years and worked at the former Fancher Furniture Co., Ethan Allen, Jamestown Table Top and Salamanca Lumber. He retired for the last time in September 2010.

Keith was a well-known musician in the area and was accomplished on the guitar, banjo, keyboard and piano. He volunteered at five area nursing homes with his band, which included his twin brother, Edward Blackmon, Ernie and Stella Weller and Edward Wagner. Along with these volunteers, a square dance group also performed for the nursing home residents. One square dance at each session included a wheelchair dance that was performed by the square dancers and the residents in wheelchairs. This dance was created by Keith. He completed a square dance book with 317 square dances with instructions for each dance.

Keith also played with Jack Harter's Band and created his own band called "The Happy Faces." He gathered a large collection of sheet music and developed many sing-along books for volunteers/participants. He completed a genealogy of his family that dates back to two passengers on the Mayflower, Thomas Rogers and Richard Warren. He was Volunteer of the Year for the Cattaraugus County Department of Aging in 2005.

He was a member of Hughes-Skiba American Legion Post 535 and John F. Ahrens VFW Post 5296.

Surviving besides his wife are his children, Maurice Patterson of Bradford, Pa., Kirk (Joyce) Blackmon and Matthew (Terri) Blackmon, both of Washington, D.C., and Debra (Ken) Summers of Columbia, S.C.; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; eight stepchildren; 20 step grandchildren; 11 step great-grandchildren; and a brother, John (Bernice) Blackmon of Rochester.

He was predeceased by his twin brother, Edward Blackmon, in 2009.

Friends may call Thursday from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the O'Rourke & O'Rourke Funeral Home, 25 River St., Salamanca, where funeral services will be held Friday (July 15, 2011) at 11 a.m. Pastor William McNeil of the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Olean will officiate. Full military honors will be conducted by members of Hughes-Skiba American Legion Post 535 and John F. Ahrens VFW Post 5296. Burial will be in Mt. Prospect Cemetery, Franklinville.

Online condolences may be sent to john@orourkeorourke.com or posted to facebook.com/onofh.

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