Bruce Blackburn, 94, of Purlear passed away Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, at his home. Mr. Blackburn was born Sept. 4, 1925, in Wilkes County to Levi Gentry and Celia Jane Holman Blackburn.

Bruce was a veteran of World War II and was stationed in the South Pacific as a U.S. Navy radioman. He was awarded the American Theater Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal, Philippine Liberation Ribbon and the Victory Medal.

Before retiring, Bruce worked as a full-time mechanic. He was an avid farmer, raising cattle for many years, and then continuing to find great joy in helping his son with cattle in his later years. He loved spending time with his grandsons. He was a member of Lewis Fork Baptist Church and also enjoyed attending church with his son and wife at Fishing Creek Arbor. Mr. Blackburn was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Helen McNeil Blackburn; his brothers, Ray Blackburn, L.G. Blackburn, James Blackburn and Worth Blackburn; two brothers who died in infancy, David and Joseph; his sisters, Arlie Blackburn Dyer and Vetra Blackburn Watson; his half-brothers, George White Blackburn, Wintford Blackburn, Sherman Blackburn and Edgar Blackburn; and his half-sister, Blanch Blackburn Elledge.

Surviving are his son, Benny Bruce Blackburn and spouse, Anita, of Purlear; a daughter, Karen Blackburn of Peachland; his grandchildren, Daniel Bruce Blackburn of Charlotte, Joshua Kirk Blackburn of Raleigh and Kristopher Ray Stanley of Asheville; and one great-grandchild.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at Lewis Fork Baptist Church, with Pastor Dwayne Andrews and Pastor David Wellborn officiating. The eulogy will be provided by his grandsons, Daniel Bruce Blackburn and Joshua Kirk Blackburn. Burial, with military honors provided by the honor guard from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1142, will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends at Lewis Fork Baptist Church from 1 until 2 p.m. Saturday, prior to the service.

Pallbearers will be Daniel Bruce Blackburn, Joshua Kirk Blackburn, Kristopher Ray Stanley, John Dyer, Shelmer Blackburn Jr. and Robert Blackburn.

Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to the Lewis Fork Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 395 Lewis Fork Baptist Church Road, Purlear, N.C. 28665.

The family has requested no food.

Miller Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences may be made at

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