Julie Lorraine Blackburn 43 of Albany Georgia passed away at home on Thursday, March 30, 2023 the funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Monday, April 3, 2023 at Mathews Funeral Home Chapel, visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. until the funeral service. A private graveside gathering will be held immediately afterwards for the family. The Reverend Danny Evans will officiate.
Julie was a kind-hearted gentle person who loved the Lord. Julie accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior during her teenage years and tried to serve the Lord in all that she did. You are walking the streets of gold now, Julie. No more pain. No more suffering.
Julie was born on November 14th 1979 to Jeff and Barbara Blackburn. Julie was one of Heaven's very special children. She was born with spina bifida myelomeningocele with hydrocephalus. At the time of her birth the doctors said that Julie would not live to be a teenager. She gladly proved them wrong. While she faced many challenges during her life, the reward of all the good times far outweighed any challenges. Throughout her life, she exhibited a quiet strength, a gentle kindness and a humble courage.
The shared responsibility of raising a special needs child drew Jeff and Barbara closer to God and tighter together as a team to help Julie grow. Over many days, weeks, and even years they held hands and prayed over Julie, asking for God’s blessings on her life.
In 1983 Julie was the March of Dimes poster child and served in that role for several years.
As a teenager, she loved riding horses at the Good Life Equestrian Center owned by Diane Urick. While there, she learned to ride, groom and care for the horses. She was the first independent paraplegic rider. Riding gave Julie independence, confidence and the ability to learn balance, coordination and increase upper body strength while doing something she loved.
While in high school Julie was a member of the High School High Tech Program. The students in the program prepared a butterfly experiment that flew aboard the STS93 space shuttle. That experiment is permanently on display at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.
Julie's dad prepared an area in the yard just for Julie so she could watch the different bird species come to the feeders while also being able to enjoy the antics of all the squirrels trying to get to the food. Hummingbirds held a special place in Julie’s heart: she loved to watch them at the feeders while sitting in the sunroom with her mother, sipping hot tea and eating scones.
Julie is survived by her father and mother, Jeff and Barbara Blackburn, an uncle, Ronald Hall and several cousins.
Julie was preceded in death by her beloved grandparents Hubert and Mary Hall, Bud and Lillian Blackburn, an uncle, Donald Hall, and an aunt, Wanda Vega.
Julie, you were such an inspiration to so many people, especially your mom and dad. We will always hold you in our hearts and love you forever. Rest in peace, Julie, your work on earth is done.