James Blackman III
James Jackson Blackman III went to be with his Lord on July 19, 2023, passing peacefully at home after a brief battle with cancer. He was born on April 10, 1932, in Dallas, Texas, to James Jackson Blackman Jr. and Daisy Isabel Coleman Blackman. At Crossier Tech High School, Jim joined the ROTC, rose to the rank of Lt Col, and was the ROTC Corps Commander. After high school, Jim married Lavonne Hansen and started his career in sales and marketing at the Dallas Morning News. He interrupted that career by enlisting in the Air Force National Guard, 443d Troop Carrier Wing, Hensley Field, Dallas. When his unit was to be deployed in the Korean War, he was honorably discharged for hardship reasons (he had a young daughter and was expecting another child). He then resumed his career, first working for the 3M Company, then Johnson & Johnson, then Pfizer & Co.; he was a key man on the task force that launched Pfizer's first consumer products subsidiary, the Leeming-Pacquin Division. In the later 60s, Jim went to Hans Holterbosch Importers, where he won the "Top 20 Worldwide Marketing Award" presented by Sales and Marketing Executives Int'l in NYC. Around 1970, Jim joined Aldens, Inc. (catalog company), where he wrote the business plan, formed, and managed America Direct, Inc., a new Direct Mail Marketing Division, and moved to Chicago. There he met and married Anita Lucile Fons on May 29, 1977. In the late 1970s, Jim became fascinated by the "new" world of technology. He was the marketing consultant for The Source, America's first dialup, online computer service. He conceived a launch event for The Source at the Plaza Hotel in NYC, where he attracted Isaac Asimov as the keynote speaker. At the press conference on June 5, 1979, Asimov famously declared it to be the "the start of the information age." Jim went on to design Excalibur, an advanced executive caliber workstation. He merged his company with a startup firm in Albuquerque, and they formed Excalibur Technology Corp., which was subsequently featured in a Fortune magazine article on up-and-coming companies. He and Anita moved to Albuquerque in 1980, where they lived for 14 years. During his spare time in Albuquerque, Jim served as a trustee for McMurry College in Abilene, TX; was chairman of the Board of First United Methodist Church; and served on the board of directors for La Vida Llena Retirement Center, where he facilitated management restructuring that averted financial default by obtaining more than $55 million in new bonds. In 1986, Jim and Anita adopted their daughter, Lela Bhavani, from Bangalore, India. In 1994, they relocated to Colorado so Jim could pursue other entrepreneurial ventures. Jim was known for his creative ideas, leadership abilities, great sense of humor, loyal friendship, love for his family, and strong faith in Jesus Christ. And oh yes, a "killer" handshake! We rejoice that he lived a wonderful 91 years, blessing everyone who knew him, and is now celebrating in heaven!
Friends & Family
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, James and Daisy Blackman, and oldest son, James Jackson Blackman IV. He is survived by his spouse, Anita; their daughter, Lela Bhavani Beechum; and granddaughter, Jazmyne Lenaye Beechum. From his first marriage he is survived by ex-spouse, Lavonne, and their sons, Stephen Mark and Stuart Kyle; and daughter, Janie Denise; five grandchildren and three great granddaughters. He is also remembered in love by his brother, Gordon Neal, Sr. (wife, Mary), three nephews and seven great-nieces/nephews. Jim’s Celebration of Life service was held on July 25, 2023, at Cornerstone Church, Lone Tree, CO. His body was donated to Science Care, and his cremated remains will be interred at Cherry Hills Community Church Memorial Garden, Highlands Ranch, CO.