Gary J Blackburn

Gary J Blackburn, born August 2, 1928, passed away December 3, 2014 at home surrounded by his loved ones. Gary was the firstborn of Alton and Nola Johansen Blackburn. He was born in a coal camp in Spring Canyon in Carbon County Utah. The camp was called Little Standard, also known as McLain. After his mothers death when he was 6 years old, and his sister Gay was 4, Gary started following his uncles, Merrial and By Johansen, and began to learn the cowboy way of life that he loved for the rest of his life. His father Alton married Avonna Grange in 1935. Three more children were born to this union, Nan, Kit and Kimball. Gary loved working with horses and began racing them at the age of 8 and started breaking horses at the age of 12. He grew up in Emery and Carbon counties. RaNae Swenson, the love of his life, became his wife September 12, 1948. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Logan Temple. He ranched, worked in the coal mines and coke ovens prior to moving to the Deseret Land and Livestock near Woodruff, Utah in 1958. Gary became cow boss within a year and ranch manager a few years later. He took pride in his work, further developed the ranch. He was respected by all who worked with him for his knowledge and expertise. He and RaNae raised their three children, Nola, Gary and Tim on the ranch, teaching them the value of hard work and love of the land. In 1976, Gary and RaNae moved to Evanston, Wyoming where Gary worked for a year at the Wyoming State Hospital in Security. He said this experience helped refine his understanding of people and his communication skills. He went to work for Skull Valley Company part time in the spring, working there during the day and his security job at night. Soon he was working full time for Skull Valley Company. He and RaNae had a home in Heiner Canyon, near Coalville and one in Skull Valley. They moved back and forth as the cattle moved from summer to winter range. Gary developed his own herd of longhorn cattle and retired from Skull Valley Company in 1993 and took care of his own herd for the next several years. Gary and RaNae purchased a home in Grantsville, Utah in 1987. Gary is known for his great sense of humor, colorful stories, Black Bart-isms and tidbits of cowboy wisdom, mentoring, painting, leather work, he sang and enjoyed music his entire life. Gary and RaNae were generous, financially, as well as opening their home to family and friends when the need was there. Gary and RaNae celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary September 12, 2014. Gary is survived by his wife RaNae Swenson Blackburn, daughter Nola Blackburn, Lusk Wyoming; son Gary (Lennie) Blackburn, Peoa, Utah; son Tim (Leslie) Blackburn, Blanco, New Mexico; sister Nan Anderson, Central Valley, Utah; 8 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Gay Bishop, brother Kit Blackburn, brother Kiimball Blackburn, and grandson Jaydee Blackburn. The family would like to express our thanks to hospice nurses at Harmony Home Health and Pine Mountain for their outstanding care and compassion to Gary and support of the family. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, December 9 at 11:00 at the Grantsville 9th Ward, 415 W. Apple St, Grantsville. A viewing will also be held there on Monday, December 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. and one hour prior to the funeral service. Services entrusted with Didericksen Memorial, 435-277-0050.

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