Harley E. Blackwell
Henderson County native and lifelong resident, Harley E. Blackwell, passed away Monday, October 28, 2019 at his home surrounded by family members. He fought a courageous four month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born October 2, 1931 to the late Otho M. and Blanch (Hudson) Blackwell. He w…read more
Harley E. Blackwell
Henderson County native and lifelong resident, Harley E. Blackwell, passed away Monday, October 28, 2019 at his home surrounded by family members. He fought a courageous four month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born October 2, 1931 to the late Otho M. and Blanch (Hudson) Blackwell. He was also predeceased by sisters, Nora B. Green and Laura E. Blackwell and by a brother, Branch M. Blackwell. There were also two brothers and one sister who died in infancy. In addition to his siblings, two nephews also preceded him in death, David Green and Eric Blackwell.
Harley graduated from Edneyville High School in 1950. He served four years in the Naval Air Force during the Korean conflict. He went to N.C. State University where he graduated in 1959 with honors. He received Outstanding Senior in Horticulture Award and was inducted into Gamma Sigma Delta and Phi Kappa Phi, national scholastic honor societies.
Harley was Superintendent of Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, N.C. State University for 32 years, retiring in 1995. He was inducted into the Western North Carolina Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1994. He served on numerous boards, committees and commissions associated with the horticultural industry including: N.C. Apple Festival Board of Directors and in 2010 served as the Grand Marshal at the festival parade. He was past chairman of the Horticultural Crops Commission of WNC Development Association. He was past president of N.C. Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. Also,m he was the recipient of their Outstanding Farm Manager Award in 1976. He was a member of American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers as well as the WNC Apple Cooperative Board and Blue Ridge Apple Growers. He received and Life Member Award from N.C. Apple Growers Association. He served on the study committee on the Need and Development of the N.C. Arboretum. He was past treasurer of Friends of the N.C. Arboretum Society. He was past chairman of WNC Agricultural Center Board. He served on the study committee on the Need and Development of WNC Farmers Market. In addition he served on civic committees. He was past president and a 50 year Legion of Honor recipient in the Hendersonville Kiwanis Club. He was a member of the Henderson County Recreation Commission as well as the Regional Advisory Committee on Vocations. He was also on the Advisory Committee to the Horticulture Curriculum of Haywood Technical College. More recently, in May 2019, Harley was inducted into the Henderson County Walk of Fame.
Harley was a lifelong member of Dana United Methodist Church. He had attended Shaw’s Creek Baptist Church for many years. Harley loved God, his family, and his country.
Harley is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Frances (Barton) Blackwell. He is also survived by his sister, Pearl B. Laughter and by his brother Kenneth Blackwell; sisters-in-law, Carrie Belle Barton and Elizabeth Barton. He loved all his nieces and nephews, Linda Pressley, Gail Lindsey, Gary Green, Jenniffer Blackwell, Alex Blackwell, Barbara Blackwell, Richard Blackwell and Bill Blackwell. Harley and Frances were closely involved with and mentors to their local nieces and nephews and their families as well, as trusted advisors and friends. He has 15 great-nieces and nephews and 17 great-great-nieces and nephews.
Harley Blackwell’s love of farming and the people of Henderson County has dominated his entire life’s work. His goal was always to work toward bettering agriculture in this area. He used every opportunity to promote the mission of the Research Station. His life’s work has been characterized by a quotation that he always kept close at hand – “The service we do for others is the rent we pay for our space on earth.” He followed this philosophy as he served the people of Western North Carolina.
Memorials may be made to Shaw’s Creek Baptist Church and designated for North Carolina Baptist Children’s Homes. The address is 91 Shaw’s Creek Church Road Hendersonville, NC 28791.
A funeral will be held on Saturday, November 2, at Shaw’s Creek Baptist Church at 2:00 p.m. The family will receive friends at the church from 1:00 p.m. until 1:45 p.m. prior to the funeral service. Rev. Jerry Mullinax and Rev. Todd Freeman, former pastors at Shaw’s Creek will officiate. Burial will follow at Oakdale Cemetery.hide
Date: Saturday, November 2, 2019
Time: 2:00 pm
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