A Life Lived: David Blackwell was a hard worker, who enjoyed helping people

Published 1:56 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2021

BY ROZELLA HARDIN
Editorial Director
rozella.hardin@elizabethton.com
It’s been said that “Self belief and hard work will always earn you success.” If so, David Blackwell was a successful person. His work was his life and he fully gave himself to it everyday, all day long.
Blackwell, who died July 6 at the age of 81, was owner of Elizabethton Glass Company. And, up until three or four years ago when his health began to fail him he was on the job every day.
A very friendly and out-going person, Blackwell and a friend began the glass company in 1972. Prior to that he worked at Ford Motor Company, was a millwright, and later worked at a couple of small glass companies. “He was all about work, and his shop was his life aside from his family. He always wanted the doors to his business open. His shop meant the world to him,” said his son, Brent.
“He was someone who would give you the shirt off his back. My father was a very giving and caring person. He was a lot of fun, too. Dad had a nickname for everyone,” said Brent.
Blackwell was born and raised on Buck Mountain. After he married, he and his wife moved to the Coal Chute community and built a house in 1975. However, he stayed closed to his roots, maintaining a trailer on property he owned on Buck Mountain. “He and Mom would often spend their weekends there,” said Brent.
“If he had a hobby, it was old cars. He was an antique car enthusiast and he and Mom would often attend the rod runs in Pigeon Forge, which were held from April through September,” Brent shared.
When Blackwell’s wife, Wilma, became sick, he became her caregiver. “She was in the nursing home for a while in 2009, but he brought her home and cared for her as long as he could. When she had to go back to the nursing home, Dad went every morning to feed her breakfast and back at noon to feed her dinner. I would go at supper time and feed her. Dad was very devoted to my mother and he showed it in his care for her,” said Brent.
“His life was his family and his work, and he gave his all to each,” Brent shared.
Brent described his dad as a simple man, who enjoyed people and being around them. Blackwell was known all over the county and city for his friendliness and smile.
“He was not a fancy eater. He enjoyed salmon cakes and potato cakes. Anything my mother cooked, he enjoyed it,” said Brent.
Blackwell was preceded in death by his parents, Coburn Jack and Pauline Blackwell, and a sister, Billie Troutman. He is survived, in addition to his wife, Wilma, by a son, Brent, and his wife, Tabitha; a grandson, Jack; and two brothers, Jack and Bobby and their families.
Blackwell’s final resting place is Happy Valley Memorial Park. If David Blackwell were alive today, he would tell you that hard work never killed anyone…and that you get what you work for, not what you wish for.