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1939 Mary 2023

Mary Blackburn

October 4, 1939 — October 1, 2023

Mary Edith (Schwisow) Blackburn, 83, of Broken Bow Nebraska, went to be with Jesus on October 1, 2023.  She passed from tears to heaven at the Brookstone View Rehabilitation Center in Broken Bow, with the love of her life at her side.  

Mary was born on October 4, 1939, to Paul and Edith (Kirchoff) Schwisow at their home in what was then Powell, NE.  (11 miles north of Fairbury NE).   She had three brothers, Eugene, Earl, and Robert.  She was the youngest of the children, and the only girl.  Her proud father was quite protective of her.   She was baptized on October 22, 1939, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, east of Daykin, NE.  She was confirmed into the same church family on May 24, 1953.  Her deep love for Jesus was developed at an early age and carried her throughout her life.  She grew up on the farm and learned to entertain herself.   She loved all the animals, especially the cats.  She had cats around her most all her life, and they were all lucky to have found her.

She graduated from Fairbury High School in 1956 and from Fairbury Junior College in 1958.  It was at Fairbury Junior College that she met her lifelong sweetheart, her basketball player with the flattop haircut, William (Bill) Blackburn.  They were married at the Immanuel Lutheran Church on August 17, 1958.   While Bill finished his education at UNL, Mary taught elementary school at Davey NE.  After Bill got his degree the couple relocated to Stromsburg NE, then to Benedict NE, where Bill taught high school.   In 1964, they moved to Broken Bow where she lived the remainder of her life.   She taught Elementary School in Merna NE, until the family required her attention at home.  After the children were older, she worked at Mid-Nebraska Individual Services and was a paraeducator for the Sandhills Co-op.   She was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Broken Bow and taught Sunday School to the littlest children for 35 years.  This was something she enjoyed greatly.

Her marriage to husband Bill was blessed with four children.  William (Scott), Mary Kim, Patricia (Polly), and Robert (Bob).   She was a wonderful mother/grandmother and loved to play games and read to the little ones.  They will all miss her more than words can describe, until they see her again in heaven.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents and her three brothers.  She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Bill; Children: Scott (Kimberly) of Broken Bow, Mary Kim (Jerry) Mattox of Lincoln, Polly Blackburn of Broken Bow, and Bob Blackburn of New Orleans LA.  Grandchildren: Jessica (Andrew) Swanson of Broken Bow, Marcus (Jodie) Blackburn of Callaway,  Allison Mattox of Lincoln,  Emily (Austin) Weinrich of Lake Shores TX, Olivia Mattox and fiancé (Marcus Martin) of Crete NE, Julian and Stefan Koroma of Tacoma WA, Lindsey (Ross) Easley of Barataria LA, Katherine, Chloe and Camille Blackburn of New Orleans;  Great grandchildren: Gabriel Coon and fiancé (Megan Pendergast) of North Platte, Jaelynn, Couper, Rayna and Mickiya Blackburn of Callaway, Hayden and Elliott Swanson of Broken Bow.

Funeral Services will be held Friday, October 6, 2023, at 10:00 am at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Broken Bow.  Burial will follow in the Broken Bow Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Custer County Foundation Scholarship Fund for Elementary Education. A visitation will be held on Thursday, October 5th, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, with family greeting visitors from 6-7pm at Govier Brothers Mortuary.  Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left at

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