Thomas Van Blakeburn was welcomed into the loving arms of his savior Jesus Christ on August 20, 2016 after a long battle with kidney failure, heart failure and lewey-body dementia. Van was born September 24, 1934 to Walter and Louise Blakeburn in Oklahoma City. He was the little brother to Dave. Van was a Classen Comet graduating in 1952. He proudly served in the US Army and upon returning he met the love of his life Sharon Suttle. They were married December 26, 1957, celebrating 51 years, until her passing in 2008. Van was a truck driver, warehouse supervisor and worked for ODOT. He loved the open road but retired in 1999. He loved fishing, anything to do with water and his OU Sooners! He bled Crimson and Cream. He was a prankster and kept us all watching out for his next “gotcha.” He was also a Scout Master of Troop 52 in Wellston. Van lived in the Wellston/Luther area for nearly 59 years. The past year and a half he has lived with his loving daughter and son-in-law Roger of Luther. His favorite nurses were his grandson Van and granddaughter-in-law Brandy. They took gentle, loving care of him. The best nurses pop could ever ask for.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 51 years, Sharon Ann Blakeburn; Parents, Walter and Louise Blakeburn; Brother, Dave Blakeburn; and nephew, Todd Suttle. Van is survived by his daughter, Lorri Stephens and husband Roger of Luther, OK; Grandson Van Stephens and wife Brandy of Luther, OK; Special Friend, Wanda Coots of Luther, OK; Sister-in-law Mary Jo Blakeburn of Yukon; Brother-in-law Buddy Suttle and wife Amy of New Paltz, New York; Brother-in-law Tommie Lee and wife Mary of Brookshire, TX; Sister-in-law Paula Venz and husband Jim of Conyers, GA; many nephews, nieces, and friends.
Our many thanks to Integris Hospice and the Integris Hospice House for the compassionate care he received and a special thanks to Dr. Drabek, Dr. Siler and Stacy of Integris Hospice; Betty, Bonnie, Lester and Christy of Truevine Hospice; and Hunter of Carter Hospice. He enjoyed the full measure of Gods gift’s and blessings, and while he will be missed we have that blesses assurance. In lieu of flowers, we request memorial contributions to Integris Foundation for Integris Hospice, 3030 Northwest Expressway #1600, Oklahoma City, OK 73112 or charity of choice. At his request, there will be no public service/internment, but rather a celebration of his life is in order- and do not mourn. “As long as the grass grows and the wind blows, Indians shall fish for free.”