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Time, Space, and People Pass

Stanley Blackburn

Stanley Blackburn passed away on November 20th at his home in Amarillo, Texas. Stanley was 80.  He was State Athletic Commissioner, Wrestling Promoter, Real Estate Investor, Businessman, President of the AWA, and friend of the wrestling business.Stanley also served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps flying troops from 1942 until 1946. Stanley is survived by his son, John, Daughter Lynn, and Wife Marrian.

Stanley Blackburn did what so many of us fail to do. He kept up with friends.

John Blackburn, Dory Funk Jr. and Stanley Blackburn in front of the church at Dick Murdoch's funeral

Stanley always looked on the bright side of things. Many years ago, he ran for city commissioner of Amarillo. He lost the election. Time passed and in the middle of the term, the city commissioners got into a political knock-down drag out fight. Stanley purchased an ad with his photo in the Amarillo Glob News with the caption, "I would like to thank the people of Amarillo forNOT voting for me in the election for city commissioner of Amarillo."

Stanley Blackburn

Stanley was a friend to many of the wrestlers who worked the Amarillo territory. He understood the humor of the wrestling business. He had a framed picture of Sputnik Monroe on his office wall. It listed the accomplishments that Sputnik laid claim to. At the bottom it totaled the time to accomplish all these things and deciphered that Sputnik Monroe had to be at least 197 years old.

Much like Dick Murdoch, Stanley's friends came from all walks of life. If you needed someone to talk to, Stanley was always there.

Stanley and Dick Murdoch at the top of the stairs by the promoter's office, Amarillo Sports Arena

When Art Nelson (Formerly of the team Stan and Art Nielson / Art Nelson and Rip Rogers) passed away in Las Vegas with no family and no funds, It was Stanley Blackburn who flew out to Las Vegas and brought him home to Amarillo, Texas and arranged for his funeral so Art could rest in peace in the place that he loved...

Several years ago I was in Stanley's office and saw that he had a beautiful picture of my father with the wrestling legend, Ed Strangler Lewis. I told Stanley how much I liked the picture and he said, "I would like you to have it."The photo is special and hangs in my home framed, 24 x 30.

Janie Engle, Executive Secretary to Eric Bischoeff at WCW recalled how much an off the wall person Stanley was. As just a kid she knew him as a friend and as the distinguished Wrestling commissioner from the bureau of Labor Statistics, State of Texas.  One night, she was attending the wrestling matches at the old Bull Barn in Hereford Texas. Stanley showed up riding a new Harley Davidson motorcycle. (The commissioner of wrestling was a "biker.")Janie will miss being able to call him on the phone just to talk, so will many others in the wrestling business.

I was home in Texas just a few weeks ago visiting friends and family. I dropped in at the Amarillo National Bank. The president of the Bank, Tol Ware came by and asked if I would check on Stanley. He had seen an ambulance at his home and was unable to reach anyone by telephone. I did check with Northwest Texas Hospitle and found Stanley had been taken there for treatment after a fall in his home. Because of Mr. Ware's request, I had the pleasure of a personal visit with Stanley and his family just weeks before his passing. Thank you Tol.

Stanley Blackburn and Nick Kozak with the "Brass Knucks Championship Belt"

Some of the many Friends of Stanley Blackburn, past and present.

Sputnik Monroe                        Art Nelson                        Tokyo Joe                        Hooker Ted Heath
Killer Karl Kox                         Wally Karbo                     Verne Gagne                    Bob Geigel
Dory Funk Sr.                           Terry Funk                        Dory Funk Jr.                  Marti Funk
Don (Lawman)Slatton               Nick Roberts                    Janie (Funk) Engle          Nick Bockwinkel
Nelson Royal                            Red Bastien                      Ricky Romero                 Jim Barnett
Nick Kozak                               Jerry Kozak                      Diamond Dallas Paige     Dorothy (Funk) Culver
New Jack                                  Marie Laverne                  Steve Nelson                   Gordon Nelson
Kay Noble                                Amarillo National Bank    Amarillo Globe News      People of Amarillo
People of Texas                       Wrestlers & fans world wide

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