Charles H. Blackburn Ill was born on March 16, 1934 in Birmingham, Alabama and died on June 19, 2014 in Lawrenceville, GA. Upon his graduation from Ramsay High School in Birmingham, he entered Auburn University in 1952 as a cooperative education student, working alternate quarters as an apparatus repairman for Westinghouse Electric at the Birmingham plant to pay his college expenses. An excellent student, he was inducted into the freshman, the engineering, the electrical engineering, the ROTC, and the Signal Corps ROTC honor societies, while at Auburn. During his senior year he was designated as the Distinguished Military Student (OMS) and also was elected to be the president of his social fraternity. Upon his graduation with a BS degree in electrical engineering in 1957, he was commissioned an officer in the US Army. He was then stationed at Fort Monmouth New Jersey, then Fort Gordon Georgia, and finally Fort Bliss Texas. After completing his required military service, he joined the Schlumberger Well Surveying Corporation an oil well Logging and Perforating Engineer in north Louisiana, Mississippi and east Texas. In 1965 he joined the Western Electric Company as a manufacturing engineer at the Shreveport, Louisiana telephone factory. In 1968 he was selected for the company's Lehigh University masters degree program and was transferred to the Western Electric Engineering Research Center in Hopewell, New Jersey as a Lehigh Fellow/Research Engineer. While studying at Lehigh, he was inducted into the industrial engineering honor society and was awarded a masters degree in Operations Research, with highest honors, in 1970. Upon his graduation, he was transferred to the cable manufacturing factory in Atlanta as a Senior Member of the Information Systems Staff. In 1977 he was promoted to Information Technology Manager and was assigned to the staff of the Cable Division's Vice President as the head of the organization responsible for planning and coordinating the development of Division-wide information systems. In 1984 he was reclassified as an Engineering Manager and assigned to the AT&T Product Engineering Control Center, also located at the Atlanta factory. In 1990, he was assigned to the Bell Laboratories with the responsibility for all human resource functions concerning all members of the Technical Staff. He retired in 1992 after 27 years of service. In retirement, he became a part time employee of the Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Department as an athletic specialist and athletic field manager for adult softball and flag football, working (22?) years. An avid softball player, he played on, and sometimes also managed, several adult teams and senior traveling teams. The teams he was associated with won seven Georgia championships, nine national titles, and one world championship. In the mid 1990's he founded Gwinnett-Dekalb Senior Softball Inc. and the Metro Atlanta Senior Softball League, which are still in operation. Charles is survived by his wife, Anne Mitchell of Lawrenceville, his sons Michael Blackburn, Scott Lynch, Timothy Grooms and Adam Mitchell. His daughters are Susan Blackburn Morehouse, Terry Blackburn Smith, Trina Grooms Taylor and Stephanie Grooms. He left fifteen grand children and four great grand children. A born again Christian, he was an active member of the Truth Tabernacle of Praise, a Baptist church in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

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  1. It was a pleasure to have known Charlie. After reading his obituary, accomplishments and experiences I am humbled. My experience with him was on the softball fields in Gwinnett County. He made it a point to get to know all of the teams and many of the players. Constantly inquiring about players well being had he not seen them in a few weeks. I know the response from my team mates has been overwhelming both grieving and celebrating truly what a wonderful man he was. Our prayers go out to his family, friends and co-workers.

    Thanks Charlie for all you have done!

    Terry Lemm
    McKendree Methodist
    Lawrenceville GA

  2. I have known Charlie for decades and have played on a number of teams with him – most recently, in the league. Just a few weeks ago, he drove in the winning run with his patented “hit to right field” after of course letting the first strike go by. Although full of life and talent, he was always “quitting” because of injuries; he never did – and we all benefitted from his being part of the league and the teams.

    It is always a shock when someone passes no matter the age, all the moreso when it happens suddenly. We all would have loved one more time to tell him what we thought, and to hear his stories and experience his irreverent-but-funny high five act after the end of the games. We thank his family for allowing him to be part of our efforts these many years, and we thank God for having him pass our way.

  3. I hired Charlie over 22 years ago to be a Field Manager for adult softball at George Pierce Park. Charlie was devoted to the program and wanted the best for the teams and the players he called friends. Charlie was an avid spokesman for the softball teams and many times visited me to tell me of ways we could make the league better. Charlie would get to the park early so he could get his work done and have time to greet players as they arrived. He took pride in learning the names of players. Charlie also helped with softball registration, i9 youth sports rentals, soccer rentals, softball tournament rentals…..and the list goes on and on. This high level of work and dedication earned Charlie several distinguish awards from Gwinnett County.
    The best memories I have about Charlie has nothing to do with the above. You see, several years before I retired Charlie and I became ” Brothers in CHRIST” . So I say this……Charlie in death, has just hit a mammoth homerun that has cleared all fences in this life.

  4. I wish I could say I knew this man, but I did not. My first cousins, Stephanie, Trina and Tim seem to have been happy with him and that is that best kind of Step-parent. I will be praying for God’s Healing, and Understanding for all Your Family. I hope you can find some solace that he is in no pain, and is smiling down upon you from Paradise.

  5. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the family.

    I have many fond memories of playing softball with Charlie on the Georgia Steelers and Georgia Crackers traveling teams as well as the senior leagues in Atlanta. We had many good times together which I always will treasure.

    Dick & Darlene Lindquist

  6. You would have been so proud of your granddaughter, Sierra, today! She pitched one heck of a game and how great that she shares your passion for softball. Rest in peace. Blackburn family you are in our thoughts and prayers. Love, The Krauth Family

  7. I, like Diane, am very sad to hear about Charlie. We worked together In information systems at the Atlanta Works for many years. I’m very upset that I cannot come to his service tomorrow. My wife, Mary, has advanced alzheimer’s, and I cannot get too far away from her memory care unit. She liked Charlie very much, and would be very sad if she could understand.

    Bob Lewis

  8. I am very sad to hear of Charlie’s passing. I worked with Charlie many years ago and he was always a very positive upbeat person. He will be missed by all who knew him. he was always fun to be around. my sympathy to his family. CHARLIE, RIP.

  9. I knew Charlie from playing together on a traveling softball team as well as occasionally playing in the Metro Atlanta Senior League. You could count on Charlie having a good story to tell and “bring you down to earth” with a good quote. I appreciated his humor, demeanor and am especially thankful for his friendship. My prayers and thoughts are with the family.

  10. I knew Charlie from Truth Tabernacle of Praise. He was a precious and dedicated part of our church family and enjoyed serving the Lord anyway he could. Charlie especially took pride in keeping up the grounds. He finished the race well and can now rest in the arms of the Father for eternity. My prayers are with his family.

  11. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Charlie at the AT&T(Western Electric) cable plant in Norcross. I enjoyed working
    with him and for him during my career with AT&T. I extend my sympathy to Ann and the Blackburn family.

  12. We knew Charlie from Truth Tabernacle of Praise. We can reflect back on the love Charlie had for the Lord, and how he so dearly loved his church, he never meet a stranger, always welcoming everyone. Charlie had a wonderful servant spirit in serving his Lord. We usually sat in front of Charlie, so during “welcoming time”, Charlie would say, oh it’s so good to see the two of you, and we’d tell each other how we loved and appreciated one another and asked God’s blessings for each other.
    My husband said he’d always remember the times the two of them would talk about football, Charlie being an Auburn fan, and my husband being an Alabama fan, they always enjoyed sharing their stories when these two teams played,
    So today we celebrate Charlie’s home going, for he is with God and some great day we’ll meet him again.
    We pray Anne and his family, that they will find comfort, peace and strength through our Lord and Savior.

  13. I would put my team together and try and get in on Mondays and Wednesdays for years just so Charlie could see my dogs. Or in the past few years my seven year old son. The other day my son arrived at the ballpark and insisted that Charlie test his bat, because he just started playing ball and wanted to make sure that his bat was good enough to hit with, so Charlie put it on the machine and found an old sticker from last season and put it on his bat for him. That’s all he would talk about the next week when he went and played his first game, how he was the only one with a sticker on his bat. Charlie is family to me , I’ve been playing ball with him watching since the summer of 96 or so. He always treated everyone great and will be sorely missed by all that knew him.

  14. My good friend, Charlie, played ball together for 18 years. On a better team now. Love you MAN. George Wilson

  15. I have worked with Charlie for 15 years he was my best friend. I am truly going to miss him. When I came to Gwinnett county ball I did not know how to keep score. Charlie was the one that show me how to keep score. When I had a question about ball I always asked Charlie. Charlie would come over at our house and talk to me and my husband for hours. Charlie was a born again Christian and I know he is in a better place. I will see him again someday but until then I will truly miss him. We loved you Charlie.

  16. Charlie interviewed me and hired me at AT&T back in 1988. Just a wonderful man and human being. A world full of Charlie Blackburns would be a JOYOUS place to live. You will be missed. Condolences to his family.

  17. I was shocked and saddened to hear of his passing. I will miss him as one of my favorite neighbors. We often talked about his pet bird, football, and his softball career. He leaves a large vacant spot here in our neighborhood.

  18. Charlie (King Trog) Western/Lucent Softball League. Someday hope to see you on the big softball field in the sky!
    The team, Stan, Larry, Leo, Marvin, Ed (too tall), Charlie, Sid, Andy, Richard, Ralph, Jack, Jim, John, Frank.

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