James “Jay” B. Blackburn Jr. was born in Savannah, Georgia on October 25, 1954 to Mercer and James B. Blackburn. He passed away on November 1, 2020 after complications from medical treatment.
Jay grew up in Savannah and attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate degree in Political Science, the Georgia Institute of Technology for his Masters in City Planning, and Mercer University for his law degree. Jay returned to Savannah to work at the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) where he authored a comprehensive plan for the Victorian District in Savannah. After obtaining his law degree, Jay became a partner at Wiseman, Blackburn, and Futrell where he practiced with his father for over thirty years. Jay was dedicated to the practice of law and was an active member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He also served as counsel for the Savannah Pilotage Commission.
Jay had a passion for public service. He was actively involved with the Savannah chapter of the Jaycees, the Coastal Heritage Society, the Chatham County Democratic Committee, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, the Hibernian Society, the Savannah CARES task force, and was a former Board Member of the Westside YMCA.
In addition to his work as an attorney and civic leader, Jay was a beloved friend and family member. Those who loved him will remember him fondly each time they engage in a heated political debate, have a cheese biscuit with green grits on Saint Patrick’s Day, put heavy mayonnaise on both sides of the bread, take a boat ride on the back river, or are running late to an event.
Jay was predeceased by his father on January 22, 2020. He leaves behind his three children, Megan, Kaki, and James B. Blackburn III; mother, Mercer Blackburn; brother, John F. Blackburn (Jack) and his wife, Maryann Gallagher; nieces and nephews Margaret, Allyson, and John Blackburn; Aunt, Jenell Griffith; cousin, Trapper Griffith; dear friends, Michael and Patricia Foran, Frank and Judy Outz, Albert Harris, and the late Frank Arden III; as well as dedicated staff at Wiseman Blackburn.
The funeral will be a graveside service on Friday, November 06, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at the Greenwich Section of Bonaventure Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Donate Life America at 701 E. Byrd Street, 16th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219. Arrangements are in care of Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel.
Jay was one of the lawyers who gave me a start in Savannah. He and Mr. Blackburn offered me a position at Wiseman, Blackburn & Futrell as an unknown, out of town lawyer with barely 2 years’ experience and presence in Savannah. He was more than a colleague; he welcomed me into his home and expressed genuine concern for my family. Jay remained very supportive even after I left the firm. I will never forget that he dropped by my mother’s beauty shop in Covington unannounced one afternoon after he’d had court somewhere in the metro area, just to say hello. Jay was passionate about the law, about voting and politics, about social justice, about his beloved Savannah - he was passionate about most everything he was interested in, and that was much. He was definitely quirky (my favorite of his characteristics) but incredibly intelligent and kind. He was a treasure. I am honored to have had Jay as a friend and colleague and will miss him immensely. My condolences to his family and friends.
- Michael L Edwards, Savannah, GA
WE WERE SO SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT THE PASSING OF OUR GREAT FRIEND AND LONGTIME LAWYER FOR OUR FAMILY FOR OVER THIRTY PLUS YEARS. JAY WAS TRULY ONE MAN WHO ALWAYS WOULD GO THE EXTRA MILE TO HELP ANYONE IN NEED. HE WOULD NEVER LET ANYONE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ANY OF HIS FRIENDS OR CLIENTS AND WAS TRULY A VERY DIVERSIFIED LAWYER AND CERTAINLY WILL BE MISSED.I THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO HIS MOTHER AND ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. MAY GOD BLESS HIM AND HIS FAMILY.
- KAY AND LEN JORDAN, SAVANNAH, GA
Jay was a great person to me. He was not only my boss, but like a big brother. When I moved to SC from NJ in 2007, I applied for a job at this firm and he hired me on the spot. He was considerate and liked to help people. He enjoyed telling stories of when he was young. I will miss him very much! R.I.P. Jay. Until we meet again!
- Natalie Reis, Bluffton , SC
May the peace of god be with you and your family during this sad time .
- Mark Newell, Savannah , Ga.
With great sorrow for your loss of Jay. Know I’m praying for you all Kathy
- Kathy O’Berry Wheeler , Savannah , Georgia
Jay was a good friend and fellow Jaycee member who was such an integral part of so many things including the foundation, the "hut", the morning show and just a real worker. He will be missed.
- David Rubnitz, Savannah, GA
Mercer, I am deeply sorry for your great loss. May GOD surround you and all your family with HIS loving care. Jay was a loving son to you and also a great father to Meghan, Kaki and Jay. My love and deepest sympathy.
- Mary Alice Garvin, Savannah, GA
Jay was the finest kind of person. He was always a good friend confident and often my voice if reason. He passing leaves a hole in heart for a wonderful friend.
- Susan Worthington, Savannah , Ga
Jay has been a long time friend as well as our attorney. Jay was a great man with tons of knowledge and patience. Jay, like his father, had immense knowledge of the city that he loved, Savannah. Savannah has lost a true legend. He will be forever missed by The Gordon's. May God Bless and guide the family through this sorrowful time.
- Mark & Rhonda Gordon, Savannah, GA
Please accept my heartfelt sympathy and condolences on the passing of my dear friend, Georgia Tech contemporary and fellow attorney Jay Blackburn, Jr. Jay was always a pleasure to be with and undoubtedly the most colorful, interesting and well read human being I ever met. Jay and I immeduately bonded as friends on my first day at Georgia Tech. I immediately annointed him as "The Colonel". That nickname stuck. Jay followed his dad James as "Mr. Savannah". He displayed a great passion for politics, community involvement, current events, helping others, history and blues music. I will never forget my precious time with this unique and creative man, especially watching him order a hamburger "with heavy mayonnaise on both sides ". May the magic of his memory and stories endure forever. There will never be another Jay. Rest in Peace Colonel. Howard R Osofsky, Atlanta
- Howard R. Osofsky, Atlanta, GA
They was a great friend and a great lawyer. He will be missed dearly by everyone that knew him. Unill we meet again my good friend. David
- David Collins, Wilmington, North Carolina
Our family's thoughts and prayers go out to Jay's family during their loss. Jay was a character out of a good Southern novel. He loved a good legal battle and loved to argue over almost anything. Politics were a passion for him. He was devoted to his children and parents. He was a dear friend and one that could be counted on in the time of need. I fortunately had the chance to talk with him over the phone last week. He still had his keen sense of humor and sent me a picture of himself with his bandaged head and wrote,"Picture of head bandages from surgery, remember the Coneheads from SNL." Only Jay would have been thinking about the Coneheads while recovering from surgery! We will all miss him at Church and I will miss him at the courthouse. My thoughts and prayers go out to each of you. Judge Claire Cornwell- Williams and the Williams Family
- Claire Cornwell-Williams, Savannah, ga
Mrs Mercer Blackburn, Jack and all the extended Blackburn family: Please accept our deepest sympathies, condolences and prayers on the untimely passing of Jay. May his soul rest in peace
- Christopher Desa, Savannah, GA
Mercer and family, I cannot tell you how heartbroken I am over Jay's passing. Jay is at peace now, and with JB and Mom now. He is without pain, and I know he is heaven with Jesus. Prayers go out to you from myself and Karen.
- William Bruce OBerry, Savannah, GA
- Jin Huo &Aiqin Dang, SAVANNAH, GA
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Jay was an outstanding lawyer, a valued and true friend. A gentleman. The Savannah community has suffered a huge loss.
- Sally and Dale Akins, Bluffton , SC
Jay was a fighter of the good fight and made people around him better. I know he will continue to look out for others.
I shared many, many Sundays with Jay at Ardsley Park Baptist Church. My condolences to the family.
- Sherry Rush Hampton , Claxton, GA
Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.
- Mike & Sara Zanish, Wyoming,MN 55092, Minnesota
My deepest condolences. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with such a kind and wise man. Rest In Peace Jay.
- Stephanie Bartasis, Savannah , Georgia
God's Love and Protection to the Blackburn Family
- Mr. & Mrs. Robert (Elaine) Connor, Kelie and Kelcee, Savannah, GA.
Kathryn and I were so sad to see of Jay's passing. We send our deepest condolences to the entire Blackburn family. Jay was one of a kind and always said what was on his mind. Jay and I didn't agree much on politics, but always got along. As much as I hate to say this Jay is smiling down to us with his approvel on the election. RIP my friend!
- Frank & Kathryn Murray, Savannah, Georgia
Mercer,Jack and family, just saw today where Jay passed. I am so sorry and words are inadequate. Sending my love and prayers to you, a great family, and great friends.
- Keelie Reed, Savannah, Georgia
Dear Blackburn Family, Megan, Kaki, and James, Jay did many things well in his life but none better than in his role as father. He utterly adored, admired and cherished with his full heart all three of you. He got that great capacity from both his parents. I will always remember his fierce devotion to your well-being and the enormous pride he had for everyone in his family, especially his remarkable children.
- Louisa Abbot, Savannah , GA