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Obituary for Thomas Gibson Blackstone

Retired Funeral Director and Owner, Father of Kathleen Blackstone-Tomasino and Grandfather of Danielle Altaffer, all of Blackstone Funeral Home

Thomas Gibson Blackstone, 86, of Girard, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, at the Hospice House in Poland.

A lifelong resident of Girard, Tom was born August 10, 1937, in Girard, at his family’s home, to Thomas Gordon and Margaret (Gibson) Blackstone.

Tom was a 1955 graduate of Girard High School. While attending Youngstown College, he worked at Ohio Leather Works for 6 years.

He graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1962. Tom became the third generation to work and own Blackstone Funeral Home in Girard, working with his father Gordon until his death in 1984 and his daughter Kathleen, since 1981.

Anyone who knew Tom knew that being a fireman was his greatest love. He worked as a special firefighter for Girard Fire Department for 32 years from 1963-1995, and was proud to serve with so many friends in the fire service. He also owned and operated Blackstone Ambulance Service until the fire department started its own ambulance service.

Tom was a member of the Tri-County Funeral Directors, Ohio Funeral Directors Association, where he was honored for his 50 years in funeral service in 2013, National Funeral Directors Association, the IFH Club, the Saxon Club, and many golf leagues throughout his life.

Some of his best times in life were spent in Florida, with his wife Dianna, where they met many friends along the way. Tom and his wife loved traveling, domestic and abroad, with close friends and family. He would tell you his best trip of his life was his trip to Italy with his wife celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

He will forever be known as a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and a compassionate man who served and supported his community both as a funeral director and fireman.

Tom forever leaves to cherish his memory, his children, Kathleen (Frank) Blackstone-Tomasino of Girard, Thomas (Marilyn) Blackstone Jr. of Campbell and Sheri Blackstone (John DeMas) of Girard; grandchildren, Brent Kovachik, Faith (Jason) Linley, Danielle (RC) Altaffer, Ryan (Allie Roddy) Forte, Ralph (Candace) Rivera and Marie Love; and great grandchildren, Addison, Scarlett, Nixon, Beckett, Gwendolyn, Jaden, Sophia, Selena and Harper.

He is preceded in death by his parents; the love of his life, wife, Dianna (Mackey) Blackstone, who he married June 14, 1957 and died August 31, 2015; grandson, Stephen Kovachik IV; brother, Harry Blackstone; Aunt and Uncle, Alexander and Ella Kennedy, and his dad’s cousin, who was like a grandfather to him, DeWitt McConnell.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, January 3rd at Blackstone Funeral Home. Tom will be laid to rest next to his wife at Girard City Cemetery.

The family would like to thank Hospice of the Valley for the exceptional care that was given to him in his final days. The family suggests any material contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the Girard Fire Department.

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