Obituary

Mack Owen Blackburn
January 22, 1921 - September 6, 2019

Mack  Owen Blackburn

Mack Owen Blackburn
Jan 22, 1921 - Sep 6, 2019

Mack  Owen Blackburn
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Mack found his calling in aeronautical engineering. After taking classes at Ohio State University, he moved to Dayton, Ohio and was hired as a Chief Test Engineer for Aeroproducts, a propeller division of General Motors Corporation.

Mack met the love of his life, Helen Comstock Morris, while attending dances regularly held at the Dayton YMCA. Because of her tall, graceful bearing, Mack called her Queenie.
When the United States entered WWII, Mack enlisted in the US Navy and stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes. Mack contributed to the war effort with his engineering skills at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, designing and testing air craft propellers. When Helen accepted a position in New York City to work for NCR (which later became IBM) Mack pursued her, surprising her at work wearing his naval uniform and proposed. Later, they were married December 21, 1946 in Christ Church Cathedral in Dayton, Ohio.

After the war, Mack resumed his career with General Motors. Using his propeller-designing experience from Wright Patterson, Mack developed and patented a new propeller for General Motors in 1957, improving the strength and resiliency of hollow propellers blades.

In 1961, when General Motors merged Aeroproducts with Allison Transmission, Mack moved his family of 5 girls to Indianapolis where he worked at Allison until his retirement.

Mack loved airplanes, motorcycles, and Corvettes. In 1956 he was a crew member for his friend Duke Dinsmore, driving Car 64, the Shannon Buick Special, in the Indianapolis 500. He enjoyed many hobbies including motorcycle rodeos, fly fishing, go kart racing, bicycling, watch making, and building and flying radio-controlled airplanes.

Mack was a kind and generous man, who modeled fairness and integrity. Mack always helped others generously and graciously. Donations may be made in his honor to Second Helpings, Gleaners Food Bank, or Indianapolis Humane Society.

Mack is survived by his wife, 5 daughters, 7 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. He will be loved and missed.

If you wish to pay respects to Mack or his family, please join us on Saturday, September 14 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 6050 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46208. There will be a Calling at 10:00 AM and a Service at 11:00 AM. Graveside service with honors will follow at Crown Hill Cemetery, 700 West 38th St, Indianapolis, IN 46208. Please enter at 34th & Boulevard.

To learn more about Mack's propeller patent, please follow this link:
https://patents.google.com/patent/US2786538

To learn more about Aeroproducts, please follow this link:
http://usautoindustryworldwartwo.com/General%20Motors/aeroproducts.htm

Dave Eames on Sep 13, 2019

To the family of Mack Blackburn:
I am the former president of the Indianapolis West Side Radio Control Club. I remember Mac as a personal friend and am saddened by his passing. He was a gentleman and a valued member of our club for many years before I became president. We had many discussions about Allison engines and he offered sage advice on building and flying model airplanes. He will be missed by everyone in our club who knew him. Four years ago I retired and moved to Virginia, so unfortunately I will not be able to attend any memorial services for Mack. Please rest assured that my thoughts are with you and your family during this sad time.
Sincerely,
Dave Eames

Dave Eames on Sep 13, 2019

To the family of Mac Blackburn:
I am the former president of the Indianapolis West Side Radio Control Club. I remember Mac as a personal friend and am saddened by his passing. He was a gentleman and a valued member of our club for many years before I became president. We had many discussions about Allison engines and he offered sage advice on building and flying model airplanes. He will be missed by everyone in our club who knew him. Four years ago I retired and moved to Virginia, so unfortunately I will not be able to attend any memorial services for Mac. Please rest assured that my thoughts are with you and your family during this sad time.
Sincerely,
Dave Eames

Linda Comstock-Teel on Sep 12, 2019

Helen and family - I am sorry to learn of Mack's passing. I remember seeing him at some of the Comstock reunions. Please know I will have you all in my prayers.

Brian Donahue on Sep 10, 2019

A handsome young man, and a wonderfully conceived nickname of 'Queenie' for his life mate. It made me smile. He appears to have lived a full life,and one blessed with 5 daughters. My thoughts are with you, his family, as you both grieve his passing and celebrate his life.

Jan Hise on Sep 9, 2019

I remember your dad as not a particularly demonstrative man, but the love he so deeply felt and sacrifices he made for each if you were impossible not to see, even by those in his periphery. My sympathy and affection to all of you as you remember his remarkable life and mourn his loss. He was a good soul and an honorable man.

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