Grande Prairie City Councillor Clyde Blackburn has passed away at the age of 67 after a battle with leukemia. His wife Mary Blackburn confirmed his passing Sunday in a Facebook post Monday.
“It is with great sorrow that I let you know Clyde went home to his God yesterday evening. In our eyes he was the best husband, father, grandfather anyone could ever live with. I know many of you loved Clyde as well, and share our sorrow.”
Blackburn was a community leader, having made major contributions to the International Street Performers Festival and Grande Prairie Live Theatre. He also spent 25 years with ATCO Electric and served in multiple roles with the Grande Prairie Public School Division, and was awarded the Senate of Canada 150th Commemorative Medal.
Blackburn was elected to Grande Prairie city council in 2017 and took leave March 2019 after his initial leukemia diagnosis. He received a bone marrow transplant in October 2019 and stayed in Calgary until January 2020. In February, Blackburn announced a return of the aggressive form of cancer but continued in his role as councillor until his death.
Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton says Blackburn left a mark on the community with his dedication to public service.
“Clyde’s strong and respectful approach to decision making is a model that all leaders would be wise to emulate. Our community mourns today, but through Clyde’s work with the Grande Prairie Live Theatre, Grande Prairie International Street Performers Festival, as a school board trustee and here on Council, he left our City a better place.”
Before his passing, the community organized a drive-by parade outside Blackburn’s home to thank him for his contributions. Flags at all City of Grande Prairie facilities will be lowered in his honour.