J. Eugene Blakely ( JACKSON, S.C.)

JACKSON, S.C. - Funeral Services for Mr. J. Eugene "Gene" Blakely and Mrs. Hazel Smallwood Blakely, both 87, of Fifth Street, Jackson, SC, who entered into rest June 7, 2011, will be conducted Saturday afternoon at 2 o'clock from the First Baptist Church of Jackson. Dr. Kenneth Klinger and Rev. Donald Lumpkin officiating. Interment in Southlawn Cemetery. Veterans Honors will be rendered in behalf of Mr. Blakely. Mr. and Mrs. Blakely were natives of Fairfax, Alabama, former residents of North Augusta having made Jackson their home for the past 56 years. They were Charter Members of Immanuel Baptist Church of North Augusta and after moving to Jackson they became a members of the First Baptist Church of Jackson where he served as Deacon, Sunday School Superintendent, Teacher of Youth, Chairman of Forward Program of Finance, Lay Representative of Pastors Council and Co-Founder and Director of Library Services. He authored the book, I Am a Soldier, which depicted members of the church who had served in the Armed Forces. Mrs. Blakely was co-founder and the Circulation Editor in the Church Library. Mr. Blakely was a member of the Masonic Lodge #127, Past Worthy Patron of Hopewell Chapter #238 Order of the Eastern Star, former City Recorder, Area School Board Member, President of Jackson School PTA, member of SC Law Enforcement Officers Association, Honorary Aiken County Deputy Sheriff, Counselor for Rainbow Girls sponsored by Hopewell Chapter #238 Order of the Eastern Star, Cub Scout Leader and a member of the Grand Cross of Colors whose name is enrolled in The International Rainbow Temple in McAlester, Oklahoma for distinguished service rendered in behalf of The Order of Rainbow Girls in 1971. Mr. Blakely was a graduate of Auburn University with a BS Degree in Education and the Augusta Law School with a Bachelor of Law Degree. He was a member of the "A" Club at Auburn, having lettered in Basketball. He was a special student in Psychology for two semesters at USC Aiken in 1963-64, attending classes at night. Mr. Blakely served three years with the 15th Army Air Corps in the Atlantic Theater of Operations during World War II. He received the European, African and Middle Eastern service medals with two battle stars and other medals for service in the Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno Campaigns. He was stationed at the 15th Army Air Corps Crash Field in Southern Italy. Mr. Blakely was employed by the E. I. DuPont Company at the Savannah River Plant in 1951 and retired in l985 as a Safeguard Training Engineer. Mrs. Blakely graduated from Valley Vocational Senior High School, Valley, Alabama. She was a past Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star Hopewell Chapter #238 and a member of the Red Hat Society. Mrs. Blakely joined the E.I. DuPont Company in Construction in 1951 and Operations in 1955. She retired in 1982 as an Auditor in Accounting and Business Administration. Survivors include three daughters and sons-in-law, Sherry and Don Hicks, North Augusta, Donnis and Joe Gavalas, Marietta, Georgia and Debra and Steve Floyd, Jackson; 9 grandchildren, 19 great- grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren. Mrs. Blakely is also survived by her sister, Arlys Smallwood Allen, Evans, Georgia. The Blakelys were the parents of the late Timothy Vann Blakely. Honorary Pallbearers for Mr. Blakely will be members of the Baracca II Sunday School Class and the Deacons of the First Baptist Church. Honorary Pallbearers for Mrs. Blakely will be members of the Philathea Sunday School Class and The Red Hat Society. Active Pallbearers will be their grandsons, Victor Gavalas, Michael Gavalas, Nicholas Gavalas, Blake Stewart, Blair Floyd, Craig Blakely and Timothy T. Mabrey. The family will receive friends at the First Baptist Church of Jackson this Friday evening from 5 until 7. Memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church of Jackson Library Fund, PO Box 130, Jackson, SC 29831. Posey Funeral Directors of North Augusta in charge of arrangements (803-278-1181). Visit the registry online at www.poseyfuneraldirectors.com

The Augusta Chronicle-June 10, 2011