In Memory of
Charlene “Nina” Blackburn
March 23, 1944–July 14, 2019
Nina passed away at 5:14a.m. on July 14. 14 was her favorite number.
There will be a Celebration of Life at her home on Sunday, July 21st starting at 2pm. Nina loved potlucks because she got to try so many different foods. Please bring a favorite dish to share. Contact the family for more information.
Born in Westerly, RI to a large Irish family, she was the first grandchild to the clan and was loved and spoiled. Her siblings, Kathy & Beth always knew their big sister was looking out for them. After high school she went on to graduate from the Boston School of Fashion Design. She worked in the industry until her marriage in October of 1966. From there she went to Ohio where her first son, Sean was born. Then to Hawaii, where her second son, Chris was born. Finally she arrived in Oregon where her third son, Chad was born.
In 1978 she started a stained glass business with Beth Taylor (sister)& Pat Powers (Brother-in-law), which evolved into the Made In Salem Gallery in the Reed Opera House. Her stained glass lamps and windows graced homes all around the northwest. She was generous with her talents and taught many people how to work with glass. After the gallery closed, she worked with 2 of her sons at NW Remarketing selling over the internet interesting items her son Chris would find for her. She loved going to work where she spread her infectious laughter to everyone.
She was a prankster, short sheeting beds, putting radishes in donut boxes, sewing up pants legs, but what she is truly remembered for is her Joie de vivre. Everyone was special and worthy in Nina’s eyes. Children gravitated to her and she never let them down. There were toys everywhere around her house and drawers with costumes. Bubbles & hoola hoops were always available. She would spend hours down by the creek looking for crawdads.
She is survived by her 3 sons, spouses and 6 grandchildren. The families all live here in Salem and her home was the center for family gatherings.
The spirit of Nina lives on in all the memories she has created from her interactions with family, friends & acquaintances. You can best remember Nina by living life to its fullest, being kind to all and laughing…..lots.
There are many “Nina-isms” that many will remember. The one that is most telling is “I love you all more than you can possibly imagine”.