Farming Rural 07

Nettie Dameron Blackwell

September 14, 1934 ~ February 16, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old

Nettie Blackwell Obituary

Nettie Russell Dameron Blackwell, 89, of Caswell County, N.C., died on Feb. 15, 2024, at her home, surrounded by her family, after a period of declining health.

Nettie lived her entire life in Caswell County, where she was born in 1934, a daughter of the late Currie Lee Dameron and Loucile Hodges Dameron. She grew up on a family farm during the Great Depression and World War II.

Nettie narrowly survived a severe childhood illness of scarlet fever and double pneumonia, but she went on to become a high school basketball player, and she graduated from Bartlett Yancey High School in Yanceyville, N.C., with honors.

She graduated from Greensboro College in 1956 with a degree in elementary education.  Like her beloved older sisters, Margaret and Sarah, she became a respected public school teacher for 36 years, first at Lawsonville Avenue School in Reidsville, N.C., then for most of her career at Cobb Memorial School in rural Caswell County. During that career, she taught thousands of students, including her own children. She was a director of the student glee club at Cobb School for many years.  For her own children, she was a parent volunteer for many school activities and trips including the Bartlett Yancey High School band and the Future Farmers of America.

She was a member and officer of Alpha Delta Kappa, a teacher’s sorority, where she had many dear friends.

In 1956, Nettie married James Yancey Blackwell Jr., also a native of Caswell County, a U.S. Army veteran, a farmer, a graduate of Lees McRae College and UNC Chapel Hill, and a volunteer and elected leader who served as a county commissioner and for many years on the Caswell County Board of Education.

 The couple were together and managed the family farm for more than 60 years until his death in 2020. In addition to full-time teaching, Nettie worked tirelessly on the farm.  

Nettie grew up a parishioner of Prospect United Methodist Church, and she became a devoted member of Bethesda Presbyterian Church, where she sang in the choir and helped lead youth programs. She was a member of the Women of the Church organization. 

Nettie also was known as an excellent chef and cook. She prepared countless dishes, meals and snacks for family, church, school and social events. She was an expert homemaker with skills and knowledge in sewing, gardening, canning, home economics, childcare, animal care, decorating and social etiquette. She always retained a keen knowledge of local, national and family events and history. 

Nettie was preceded in death by her husband, James, and her sisters Sarah Dameron Farmer and Margaret Dameron Hatchett, and their husbands S. Ryland Farmer and W.H. Hatchett, all of Caswell County.  She also was preceded in death by her husband’s brother, Waller Taylor Blackwell and his wife, Irene, and her husband’s sister Mary Scott Manuel and her husband Rev. Wendell Manuel.

She is survived by her three children: Daughter, Susan Blackwell Crawford and her husband Dr. Jeff Crawford of Durham, N.C.; Son, James Russell Blackwell of Caswell County and his wife, Suzanne Anderson Blackwell, a devoted caregiver for Nettie; Son, John Reid Blackwell of Orange County, N.C.. She also is survived by two grandchildren: James Clayton Blackwell and his wife Brittany McPeek Blackwell of Alton, Va.; Granddaughter Anna Russell Blackwell, a teacher in Wake County, N.C.. Beloved great-grandchildren Josie Danyel Blackwell and James Reid Blackwell of Alton, Va.; Great-grandchildren William, Jack and Cole Crawford of New York, N.Y., and Luke and Caroline Crawford of Durham, N.C.

Survivors also include her husband’s sister, Lelia Alice Blackwell Smith and her husband Dr. Richard Smith of Atlanta, Ga., along with dozens of beloved nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews on both sides of her family.

Nettie also always remembered with love the many students she taught and educators with whom she worked, who were deeply important in her life, and now to her memory.

The family gives special thanks to Adrian, Christina, and Kim of Kindly Kim’s Caregivers Services for their care and compassion during Nettie’s final months. The family also thanks Janice Harris and Dorothy Galloway for their help and companionship for Nettie over the years. Special thanks also to Pastor Larry Durham for his many visits.

Memorials may be made to: BWOC Memorial Fund, 7425 Park Springs Road, Pelham, N.C., 27311, or to Authora Care Collective, 918 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, N.C., 27215.

A gravesite service is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Bethesda Presbyterian Church, 216 Bethesda Church Cemetery Road, in Caswell County.  Citty Funeral Home is assisting the Blackwell family  and there is a register book  available for those who wish to pay their respects.

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Graveside Service
February 24, 2024

2:00 PM
Bethesda Presbyterian Church Cemetery
216 Cemetery Rd.
Ruffin, NC 27326


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