ST. STEPHENS - Mass of Christian Burial for Arapahoe resident John "Johnny" Blackburn, 79, will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 5, at St. Stephens Catholic Church.
Traditional Native American Church service, with wake, will be held today, March 4, at the family home, 95 Littleshield Road, Arapahoe.
He died Feb. 26, 2005, at Lander Valley Medical Center.
Born Aug. 24, 1925, in St. Stephens, he was the son of Gregory Van Blackburn and Syrene Black; and was raised and educated there. His Indian name was All American Bird.
He worked at various jobs which took the family around the country. In later years, he was a sanitation engineer for the town of Thermopolis, where he eventually retired. He moved his family to New Mexico and, later, returned to the Wind River Indian Reservation.
An active member and elder of the Native American Church, he was taught the traditional ways by his father and his grandfather, Gregory Blackburn Sr.
He enjoyed listening to peyote, powwow and Sundance songs; and was an avid University of Wyoming Cowboys fan.
Survivors include his wife, Anastasia Blackburn; four daughters, Nora Antelope-Millsap, Frances Blackburn, Jane Dewey and Angela Brown; three sons, Robert and Melvin Blackburn and Joseph Blackburn Jr.; two sisters, Theresa White and Laverne Brown; seven brothers, Kenneth Sr. and Jimmy Blackburn, Paul Joe Hanway, Crawford White, Joe Duran and Mervin and Lyle Black; numerous siblings and children through his church; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and stepmother, Jane; three sons, Clyde Blackburn, Herbert John Blackman and Peter "Stoney" Blackburn Sr.; four sisters, Pauline, Louise, Philomena and Mary Elsie; three brothers, Edward Blackburn, Herman Norse and Joseph Thomas Blackburn Sr.; and two uncles.
Davis Funeral Home of Riverton is in charge of arrangements.