GRANBURY – Ava Delle Copeland Blackwell, 89, died Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, in Granbury.
Service is 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 30, at Temple Hall United Methodist Church in Hood County. Interment will be in Long Creek Cemetery. Visitation is 4-6 p.m. Sunday at Wiley Funeral Home.
Delle was born Oct. 21, 1924, to Raymond D. and Oma Slate Copeland in Gouldbusk. She grew up in Coleman County, attended grade school in Hardin and graduated from Mozelle High School in 1940 at age 15. She moved to Houston in 1941 and worked as a bookkeeper and legal secretary. She married Joseph E. Burkett in 1942 and they divorced in 1945. During World War II, she worked for the Air Force as a court reporter at Foster Field in Victoria. After the war, she worked as a bookkeeper and accountant until 1954, when she returned to working for the Air Force as a court reporter at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo. She transferred to Bentwaters Air Base in Ipswich, England, as a court reporter for two years, then returned to work at Goodfellow.
After her marriage in 1959, she worked at Carswell Air Force Base as an administrative assistant, secretary and base suggestion program manager until she retired in December 1980. She received several awards for outstanding performance during her career with the Air Force and was named Strategic Air Command Suggestion Program Manager of the Year in 1978, 1979 and 1980. Upon her retirement she was awarded the Exemplary Civilian Service Award by Headquarters U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command.
She married Herman C. “Blackie” Blackwell on June 12, 1959, and they had one son, Walter Raymond Blackwell. Delle and Herman moved to Granbury in 1970 and were married 45 years when Blackie died Aug. 22, 2004. She loved living in the country, her community, her neighbors and her church. She was a faithful member at Temple Hall United Methodist Church since 1973, having served as church secretary and historian for many years. During that time, with help from the congregation and others, she compiled a history of the church, which was founded in 1854, and the church has a Texas State Historical Marker.
Survivors include a son, Walter Blackwell and wife, Ruth, of Keller; stepdaughter, Trudy Busker and husband, David, of San Angelo; sister-in-law, Autry Duncan, of Oklahoma City; grandchildren, Randy and Debbie Busker, Donna Humphreys McCoy, Richard and Nita Humphreys and Stephanie Blackwell; nine great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandsons; and very dear nieces, Shirley Ann Woolf, of Lowell, Ark., and Patsy Delle Shelton, of Odessa.
Delle was preceded in death by her husband; parents; sister and brother-in-law, Thelma and W.L. Lowe; stepdaughter and son-in-law, Ruth Ann and Don Humphreys; and granddaughter, Theresa Busker Shirley.
Should friends desire, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Temple Hall United Methodist Church.
Wiley Funeral Home