Mrs. Irene Pace Ferguson Blackburn, 88, of Statesville, N.C., transitioned peacefully to her heavenly home surrounded by family and in the arms of her girls on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at her residence.
She was born in Hiddenite in Alexander County, N.C., on August 31, 1932, and was the daughter of the late Ernest Raymond Pace and Rosalee Teague Pace.
In addition to her parents, Mrs. Blackburn was preceded in death by her first husband, Harvey L. Ferguson, who died in 1958, and her second husband, Walter G. Blackburn, who died in 1980, and one sister, Lorene Pace Myers.
She was a graduate of Clevenger Business College and Hiddenite High School. She was a retired Trial Court Administrator with the State of North Carolina, 22nd Judicial District for 23 years. Mrs. Blackburn was a member of First Baptist Church and a former member of Front Street Baptist Church for 42 years where she served on many various committees including president of the WMU (Women’s Missionary Union), Sunday school teacher and Sunday School Youth Department leader.
Mrs. Blackburn was awarded North Carolina’s highest civilian honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 1999 by then-Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. during her retirement ceremony.
She was a 50-year member of The Order of The Eastern Star, Statesville Chapter #214, where she served as Worthy Matron for nine terms. She was a charter member of Statesville Noon Civitan Club; member of Statesville Civitan Club; member and past state president of North Carolina Judicial Support Staff; member and past president of North Carolina Legal Support Staff; member and past president of Legal Support Staff of Iredell County, and a member and past president of Metrolina Charter Chapter of The American business Women’s Association.
Mrs. Blackburn also was a past member and secretary of Statesville Civil Service Board for multiple terms; member and chairman of Iredell County Jury Commission for multiple terms and a member of the Board of Elections 4th precinct.
Those left to cherish her memory are children, Steven Lee Ferguson and wife Honeylhona of Rawlins, Wyo.; daughters, Melissa Dawn Blackburn Geter and husband Clifton of Vicksburg, Miss., and Tamara Leigh Blackburn Beehler and husband Mike of Statesville, N.C.
She is further survived by her grandchildren, Kelly Rae Gregory, Whitney Michelle Grubb and husband Jordan, Eric Matthew Hinceman and wife Holly, Sabra Elizabeth Walton, David Ferguson and wife Erminia, and Jacob Ferguson and wife Wendy; and great-grandchildren, Riley Shay Archer, Carter Champion Hinceman, Adley Reese Grubb and Gemma Leigh Hinceman.
Her sisters, Eloise Davis, Mary Lois Dodson, Betty Julian and Patricia Dishman, along with her brother David Pace and several extended family members also survive.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, June 26, 2021, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home.
The funeral service will be held Sunday, June 27, 2021, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Statesville with Rev. Dr. Nelson Granade officiating. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are requested to be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625.
Condolences may be left online for the family at www.bunchjohnsonfuneralhome.com.
Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Blackburn family.