Dr. Bruce Blackmon Remembered

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By TOM WOERNER

Of The Record Staff

A well-known Buies Creek doctor who was influential in the community throughout his long life died this weekend. Dr. Bruce Blackmon died Sunday at the age of 95. Dr. Blackmon, a candidate for North Carolina governor four years ago at age 91, is a lifelong resident of the Buies Creek community.

Dr. Blackmon graduated from Campbell Junior College in 1940 and later a graduate of the Bowman Gray School of Medicine in Wake Forest. He was a doctor in the Buies Creek community throughout his professional life and also served as director of health services for Campbell University. He retired from the See Blackmon, Page 3

Blackmon Blackmon

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Campbell staff in 1974. He continued to be active at the school in later years.

Dr. Blackmon was the driving force behind the establishment of the Cape Fear Friends of Fine Arts. Many in the area knew him through his role as a charter member of Memorial Baptist Church in Buies Creek and is a former member of the North Carolina Baptist Foundation Board of Directors.

One of Dr. Blackmon’s best friends was Buies Creek’s Dr. Burgess Marshbanks, a now retired dentist.

“I grew up with him. He was a good friend,” Dr. Marshbanks said. “We have been neighbors most of our lives.”

Dr. Marshbanks said his feelings on Dr. Blackmon are simple.

“Dr. Blackmon was a dynamic force in our community and beyond,” Dr. Marshbanks said. “I can state without reservation that North Carolina is a better place because Dr. Blackmon lived among us.”

Retired Campbell professor Dr. Louise Taylor was a neighbor of Dr. Blackmon’s for more than 40 years.

“He did so many things to make life better for other people, for his church and for Campbell,” Dr. Taylor.

“I thought he was a remarkable man,” Dr. Taylor said.

“He was somebody who was fascinated by the world and fascinated by what people can do if they try,” she said.

She recalled the story of an election night loss when Dr. Taylor lost a bid to unseat state Rep. David Lewis.

“He told me I needed to go up and congratulate David,” Dr. Taylor said. “I knew he was right and I did it. He helped me on a night that was disappointing to me.”

Coats attorney Earl Jones said he knew Dr. Blackmon most of his life, first encountering him at the age of 7.

“He was very much a father figure to me after I lost my father at a young age,” Mr. Jones said. “He was an important part of my life.”

He said the community will remember Dr. Blackmon.

“He was one of the finest people I ever met,” Mr. Jones said. “He spent his life serving people, his family, his church and the community.”

Mr. Jones said Dr. Blackmon received North Carolina’s most prestigious civilian award, The Order of Long Leaf Pine, five times.

“He was recognized many times for what he did,” Mr. Jones said.

Dr. Marshbanks said many of Dr. Blackmon’s good deeds will go unnoticed and unrecognized.

“He said many things to help people that no one ever knew about,” Dr. Marshbanks said.

One of the things that fascinated Dr. Blackmon the most, according to Dr. Taylor, was the power of compounding interest.

“That was something that fascinated him so much,” Dr. Taylor said.

He used that knowledge to start an endowment fund at Memorial Baptist Church, starting the fund with $50. Through interest earnings and contributions from other individuals the fund has grown to approximately $500,000.

Dr. Blackmon and his wife, Leila, have five children and 10 grandchildren.

Paul Phillips of O’Quinn-Peebles- Phillips Funeral Home said arrangements for services for Dr. Blackmon were not finalized as of Monday afternoon.

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