Obituary of Jeffrey “Jinx” Blackwell

Jeff Blackwell

 

Jeffrey “Jinx” Blackwell, 70, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend died at home July 8, surrounded by the love of family and friends and his loving guard dog, Gummi.

Jinx was born to Mary (Milligan) and Ted Blackwell on February 20, 1951. He spent a wonderful childhood “on the hill” in Great Barrington with his siblings Edgar, Steve and Lesley. He was predeceased by his sister Gerda. On December 18, 1970 he married the love of his life, Debra “Debbie” Connelley Blackwell. During their 50+ years of marriage they had 3 amazing children: Stephanie (Jose) of Bristol, CT, Jason (Nanci) of Great Barrington, and a son Jed who died in 1993. Jinx and Debbie were blessed with 5 grandchildren: Joshua and Stephen Cormier, Kori (Emil), Kaitlyn (Joe) and Bryn Blackwell. In addition, they have 2 great-grandchildren Asa and Jordan. Later this year a third great-grandson, Ryder is expected. Jinx also leaves countless other family and friends who will miss him dearly.

Jinx was an avid hot rod enthusiast enjoying car shows and good times with friends across New England. He enjoyed the sound of a big block Chevy, a chain saw, and the peace of mowing a lawn. Through the many years working at the paper mills in Lee, he made hundreds of friends who taught him great jokes which he happily shared. His greatest joy was gathering with family and friends sharing laughter and tears and hoisting a Bud Light or two. Jinx was a man who never met a stranger. If you were fortunate enough to know him, you had a friend for life.

A celebration of his life will be held at BIRCHES-ROY FUNERAL HOME, 33 South Street, Great Barrington on Saturday July 17 at 11:00 AM with Pastor Charles Van Ausdall officiating. Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers expressions of sympathy in Jinx’s memory may be made to the Madden Open Hearts Camp in care of the funeral home or directly at www.openheartscamp.org/open-hearts-camp-donations/. Condolences may be made through birchesroyfuneralservices.com.

6 Responses to Obituary of Jeffrey “Jinx” Blackwell

  1. A truly wonderful man with a genuinely open and loving heart. Not a moment went by when you couldn’t feel the warmth of his friendship. Lucky enough to be welcomed and connected with Jinx as a child, he’s been like an uncle until we made it official by marrying his nephew and godson in 2013. You will be dearly missed and fondly remembered for eternity.

    Much love, Morki or Morti (either were always received with a smile and a grateful heart)

  2. Debbie, Edgar, Steve and families

    II am so so sorry to hear of Jeff’s passing. He was such a great guy and could always make me laugh. Sending lots of love and hugs for everyone. May he soar with the Angels and always be in your hearts.

    Sympathy & Love
    Bobbi Morrison

  3. Leslie, Steve and family. I was so sorry to hear of Jeff’s passing and his struggle with his health prior to that. He will be missed by all those who knew him. I remember growing up with all of you and his antics and sense of humor.

  4. Jason, Nanci, and Family,
    I’m very sorry for your loss.
    “He enjoyed the sound of a big block engine and the peace of mowing a lawn” – I can certainly relate to that.
    Thinking of you.

  5. Have been praying for Jeff and all the family the last few months. Keeping you all on my prayer list and praying for strength now and in the difficult days ahead. I’m sad that I didn’t know him better, but I’ve always admired how he checked on Lesley. RIP, Jeff. You may be gone but will not be forgotten.

  6. During the past week, I spent several mornings over my first cup of coffee thinking about Jinx and reading some of the fond memories of his life shared by Kori. Regretfully, I cannot travel to Great Barrington on Saturday for his memorial service and to support the Blackwell family. That said, I decided to share some thoughts as I would if I was able to attend. In the sea-going services, we have an expression in these times of loss known as “crossing the bar” – as a Navy man Uncle Ted likely knew the expression. Jinx has crossed the bar meaning he has departed his life on earth and God has welcomed him into eternal life. Let me fill in some background so my ramblings make some sense. For those who go to sea, the bar is a physical zone that separates the familiar waters and safety of the harbor from that of the adventure and unknown possibilities of the open ocean. When applied the departure from earth – that familiar place Jinx lived in with home, family, and community, Jinx has crossed into an environment that most of us have never experienced – the unknown realm of Heaven. Now, Jinx faces a new adventure, which I believe contains wonders he (and we) never could imagine.
    Recently, I read a book written by Dr. Mary Neal, a medical surgeon, titled 7 Lessons from Heaven about her near-death experience when she drowned while kayaking. My morning reflections about Jinx took me to three of the lessons: (1) heaven is real; our life’s experiences on earth will all make sense when we arrive there; (2) our death on earth is not an end, it is a beginning that we should not fear; and (3) heaven is a reality where we are made whole; no more pain, no sorrow, and no suffering. We will be reunited with our loved ones forever. Given Jinx’s physical state over last few months, lesson 3 spoke loudly to me. Jinx’s being is now whole and he lives with joy in his heart having been reunited with loved ones who paved the way ahead of him and have welcomed him into a new community to experience the love of that community.
    I believe Jinx watches over us. We will miss his bold character, his gentle kindness of heart, and his robust sense of humor. We will grieve his departure and our loss as God wired us to do in our earthly life. But we can find joy in our hearts by reflecting on the legacy he built around Debbie, the Blackwell family, the extended family, his friends, and his community. Castle Hill Avenue will not be the same. Jinx touched each of us in incredibly special ways…in the future when decisions must be made, gatherings planned, and joy to be had…ask “What would Jinx do?
    Marcie and I send our deepest condolences to the Blackwell family during their time of loss and grief,
    Paul Milligan (cousin and retired Coast Guard officer)

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