Kenneth Clyde Blackford

Dec. 18, 1927 –

Sept. 24, 2013

Ken Blackford passed away at his ranch home near Waxahachie at the age of 85. Ken had wonderful parents in Waco who raised him with strong religious values. He graduated from Waco High School in 1944 and was then selected to serve on the summer staff at Glen Lake Methodist Camp. During that summer, he met Freda Dunn, his wife of 66 years.

Ken attended Kemper Military School and then graduated from Southwestern University in 1948. He received his Master of Divinity Degree from SMU in 1958 and began his career with youth by serving in the Methodist Campus Ministry at Baylor, Sam Houston State, and UT Arlington. He was instrumental in the building of three student centers on these campuses. He was selected as Minister of the Year by the Arlington Kiwanis Club.

Ken was an active business partner with his brother-in-law, Nelson Dunn, for many years and subsequently joined Arlington ISD in 1974. His public school service evolved from teacher to principal to Assistant Superintendent of Personnel. He was also actively involved in the YMCA, Arlington Boys Club, and other area organizations. Ken and Freda Blackford were very involved with advocacy for learning disabled children, and he served as the Texas President of the Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. The Blackford Family was named as Arlington’s 1987 Great American Family. Ken was a pilot and loved flying, hunting, fishing, singing, camping, ranching, gardening, and photography. He successfully intertwined family, careers, church, and community work for his entire life.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Milton, Grace Vaught Blackford, and son-in-law Blaine Baker. He is survived by his wife, Freda, daughter and son-in-law Donna and Larry Baker, daughters Kay Blackford, Grace Garrison and Becky Baker. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren Russ Baker, Brooke Chadwick, Sarah Gerstenkorn and great-grandchildren Alex, Dakotah, Montannah and Liam.

A memorial service to celebrate his life was held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 at the Moore Bowen Road Funeral Home in Arlington with the Rev. James R. Monroe officiating. In lieu of flowers, give to Mission Arlington or Hope Clinic in Waxahachie.

Local arrangements were under the direction of Wayne Boze Funeral Home.