Eugene “Gene” L. Blackford, 94, Carthage, MO, passed away early Monday morning, May 1, 2017 at the Missouri Veterans Home, Mt. Vernon, MO.

Eugene “Gene” L. Blackford, 94, Carthage, MO, passed away early Monday morning, May 1, 2017 at the Missouri Veterans Home, Mt. Vernon, MO.
Eugene “Gene” Blackford was born November 10, 1922 in Carthage, MO to the late Henry C. Blackford and Frieda (Stevenson) Blackford. He married Eva “Louise” Keltner in 1947; she preceded him in death on July 27, 2010.
Gene was a World War II Veteran, serving in the army in the South Pacific from 1942 to 1946. He worked 33 years for W.R. Grace Fertilizer and Chemical Plant before retirement. No matter what, he always tried to stay busy.
Gene was a lifetime bowler. He bowled at Star Lanes, Bowl-a-Rama, Plaza Lanes, and 4th Street Bowl. Gene was inducted into the Bowler’s Hall of Fame in 2012. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 322, VFW Post 7630, Elks Lodge.
He loved fishing and he loved dancing at ATA Hall. In their earlier years, Gene and Louise were members of the old Lakeside Community Church, and later became members of Christ’s Church of Perseverance, Joplin. Gene lived a very long and fruitful life.
Loved ones that preceded to Heaven before him were his wife, Louise Blackford, his parents, Henry C. and Frieda (Stevenson) Blackford, two brothers, Charles W. Blackford and Joseph A. Blackford, one sister, Marcella Crutchfield, and one great grandson, Marshall Eugene Sprague III.
Survivors include six children, Kenneth (Sandy) Blackford, Wayne (Sue) Blackford, Robert (Mary) Blackford, Edward (Belle) Blackford, Emma (Clif) Farris, and Ernie (Karen) Blackford; 16 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren.
Visitation will be held 6-7 p.m., Friday, May 5, 2017 at Knell Mortuary. Funeral services will be held 10 a.m., Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Knell Mortuary.
Minister Tom Black will officiate. Interment will follow the service at Oak Hill Cemetery, Carthage. Memorial gifts are suggested to Missouri Veterans Home in care of Knell Mortuary, 308 W. Chestnut, Carthage, MO 64836. Online condolences may be expressed through www.knellmortuary.com. Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of Knell Mortuary.