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Sue Blackbourn

August 30, 2012

Sue Cleveland Blackbourn earned her wings on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, in Tulsa, Okla.,  surrounded by her loving family and certainly smiling all the way to the arms of Jesus.

Funeral services will be held 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012 at First United Methodist Church.
Visitation will be held 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 at First United Methodist Church.
Welch Funeral Home in Starkville is in charge of arrangements.

Sue was born on April 9, 1941, at Laird Hospital, Union. She grew up in Lexington and enjoyed playing the clarinet and performing as a majorette, in addition to participating in the Glee Club and performing as a featured soloist at the Lexington First Baptist Church.

After graduating with honors from Lexington High School, Sue completed her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Kansas.  Relocating back to her beloved Mississippi, Sue made her home in Starkville where she proudly shared her love for Language Arts with thousands of sixth graders through three decades as an educator with the Starkville Public School System.

Upon retirement, Sue enjoyed staying active in community and church groups with the Starkville Garden Club, Mississippi State University Women’s Club, Circle Group, Savage Sunday School Class, and at least three weekly bridge groups.

All of these commitments were important but her true love was her family and many friends.

Her beloved grandchildren and all of their friends knew Sue as “Gigi,” as she was a regular cheerleader at dance and vocal recitals, football, basketball, baseball and soccer games, school musicals and academic events, birthday parties, holidays and even vacations.

While in Tulsa the past few weeks, she had as many children visitors as adult visitors that she has cultivated friendships with during her numerous visits over the past two decades.  

The family would like to thank the wonderful staff of Freedom Hospice in Tulsa, Okla., and her many friends and First United Methodist Church Savage Classmates for the encouraging and loving messages, notes, and cards which she received and enjoyed daily.

Sue is survived by her loving husband, Dr. Joe Blackbourn, whom she treasured and adored; “favorite brother”, Dr. O.A. Cleveland Jr. of Starkville; sister, Barbara (Cleveland) Lattanzi and husband, Dick of Huntsville, Ala.

Sue was blessed to have a wonderful lifelong friendship with her daughter, Beth (McMahan) Peters and Beth’s husband, Rob. The absolute highlight of her life was her four beautiful grandchildren, Cameron Cleveland Peters (16), Robert R. Peters III (14), Caroline Cass Peters, (10) and Caleigh Crew Peters (9).

Sue was preceded in death by her parents, Bernice and O.A. Cleveland Sr. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Sue’s name to the Missions Fund at First United Methodist Church.

You can go online and sign the guest register at

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