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‘We’ll always remember him': Cumming declares Feb. 15 Gerald Blackburn Day
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Cumming City Administrator Gerald Blackburn received the Charles F. Welch Citizenship Award on Friday during the Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerces 56th Annual Meeting. The award is given each year to someone who exemplifies citizenship and outstanding service to the community. - photo by Autumn Vetter

At their most recent meeting, city of Cumming officials dedicated the day to a longtime city leader.

At the Cumming City Council meeting on Feb. 15, Mayor Troy Brumbalow read a proclamation designating the day as Gerald Blackburn Day in honor of longtime Cumming City Administator Gerald Blackburn, who passed away in January.

“Gerald, I didn’t work with him much. He was retiring as I came in, but Gerald was so nice to me and helped make that transition,” Brumbalow said after the proclamation. “I really respected him, and I know that everyone else up here and all our staff really loved him. So, we appreciate him, and we’ll always remember him.”

Blackburn served for 45 years with the city, beginning as the city’s first recreation and parks director in 1972 before being promoted to city administrator in 1986, a position he would hold until his retirement in late 2017.

In addition to his work with the city, Blackburn was also a minister, and, fittingly, the proclamation began with Psalm 78:72, which reads “With upright heart, he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”

Along with laying out his accomplishments, the proclamation also says Blackburn “leaves behind a legacy of ever-abiding love for family, friends and community, as well as a shining example of hard work, kindness, compassion and true servant-leadership for future generations of the Blackburn Family and the City of Cumming”

Blackburn is survived by his wife Sue Blackburn, daughter and son in law Robin and Mike Sweat, son and daughter in law Shane and Kristi Blackburn, son and daughter in law Kiwp and Chrissy Blackburn. Grandchildren Chase (Carey) Sweat, Lucas Sweat (fiancé Katharine), Emma (John Tyler Cobb), Anna Blackburn, Cash Blackburn (fiancé Bethany), Carlie Blackburn, Casen Blackburn, & Lydia Blackburn and great-grandchildren Thea and Palmer Sweat and John Payne Cobb. Sister Patsy Benson also survives, along with many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Members of his family attended Tuesday’s meeting and received a copy of the proclamation.